02:31 pm, Monday 30 January, 2012
While the number of big trucks on the road has increased, even doubling the rate of cars, a study conducted late last year by the National Transport Insurance (NTI) shows that there is a 27% decrease in serious truck crash incidents reported.
Figures from the Bureau of Statistics show that there were 85,965 articulated trucks on the country’s roads in 2011, compared with 71,680 five years ago. The increase rate at 20.7% is almost double that of passenger vehicles at 11.9% over the same period.
The 2011 Major Accident Investigation Report studied more than 300 crashes, where it was confirmed that since 200, there was a 27% decrease in serious accidents involving heavy vehicles. It was also revealed that in fatal crash incidents involving another vehicle, the third party driver was at fault in 82% of incidents.
The report also showed that fatigue and inappropriate speed is responsible for 1 in 2 serious truck crashes. Interestingly, the study also found that accidents happen most likely on Mondays. Mondays and Tuesdays account for 37.5% of serious crashes. June and April were the worst months for major accidents, while the worst time of the day was 11am to 2pm. The study also found out that in 86% of serious truck crashes, the vehicle was within 500 km of its point of departure. Fifty percent of incidents occurred within 100 kilometres.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, two crashes this month have brought attention to the trucking industry. A B-double was involved in an accident with a ute. It crashed into a house, killing an 11-year old child.
Another B-Double crossed the wrong side of the Hume Highway and flattened a car travelling the opposite direction on Tuesday. A man and his two elderly parents were killed in the incident.
Causes of both incidents are still under investigation by police and coroner.