It is common knowledge in the trucking industry, but the the latest accident research has confirmed that the number of truck crashes went down during the pandemic.
NTI’s National Truck Accident Research Centre (NTARC) today published its 10th, and now annual, national report into the cause of major crashes involving heavy vehicles, has found that during COVID Australia’s roads were the safest they’ve been in years, with the number of multi-vehicle crashes involving heavy vehicles down more than 16 percent.
NTARC author, Adam Gibson, of NTI, said the positive findings came despite more trucks and freight being on Australian roads, particularly during the pandemic.
“The industry should be congratulated for keeping Australia moving and for keeping supermarket shelves stocked especially during COVID lockdowns,” said Adam.
The report found evidence road safety messaging is working, with fatigue-related crashes involving heavy vehicles down from 27 per cent in 2005 to eight per cent last year.
“There’s been a massive reduction in multi-vehicle crashes involving trucks and the lowest number of fatigue-related crashes since NTI began keeping records 18 years ago,” said Adam. “It is a credit to the industry, truck drivers and all road users.”
Technology and smart trucks are key to further driving down the road toll. The report found one in eight truck crashes were due to inappropriate speed for the conditions, however this did not mean the vehicles were exceeding the speed limit.
“Speed cameras, radar traps and increased speed enforcement help deter high speed offences, but data shows technology and smart braking systems on trucks are key to reducing single-vehicle rollover crashes,” said Adam.
NTI is working with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) to use data from the NTARC report to develop new education initiatives to further improve road safety.
said data driven technology is the new frontier in making our roads safer.
“Australia’s trucking industry is set for an information boom over the next decade, which will help improve safety and increase productivity,” said Sal Petroccitto, NHVR CEO. “The NHVR is committed to ongoing fatigue detection programs and support, together with delivering safety campaigns such as We Need Space, aimed at reminding light vehicle drivers about the importance of driving safely around truck drivers on the road.
“We want every driver to travel safely and arrive safely at their destination and ensure these NTARC report figures continue to improve.”
Since 2003, when the first NTARC report was released, the number of freight movements and heavy vehicles has increased by 50 per cent.