Trucking getting safer, research shows

Serious truck crashes have dropped by more than a third in recent years, even as the volume of road freight has increased by 30%, according to detailed new research from NTI.

The specialist insurer’s National Truck Accident Research Centre has released its latest report, delving into its claims database to examine trends.

NTI Industry Relations National Manager and report author Owen Driscoll says the transport industry has made large improvements since the 1980s.

“In 2015, we have safer vehicles, safer speeds, safer roads and generally more responsible and safer behaviour,” he says.

“Nonetheless, heavy vehicle crash accidents continue to occur, albeit with the number of people killed in Australia from crashes involving heavy vehicles over the past decade falling significantly.”

The report found speed continues to be the biggest cause of major truck crashes, accounting for 27% of claims registered.

The incidence of fatigue-related accidents has risen, with it the main cause of 12.8% of crashes, the highest proportion since 2007.

Western Australia was the worst offender when it came to fatigue, with it responsible for 30% of incidents.

Monday to Wednesday remains the most perilous period for drivers, with 56% of major incidents occurring across the three days.

Fleets of more than 15 vehicles were also shown to be safer than owner-operators and SMEs. The former make up 62% of all the NTI portfolio but account for only half the claims.

For more on the report, click here.