Research into the major cause of Heavy Vehicle accidents

The National Truck Accident Research Centre (NTARC) is an independent research facility established by National Transport Insurance (NTI), which, continuesto be the leading commercial vehicle and equipment insurer in Australia.

Once again, after the usual two year interval, the research centre has revisited the behaviour of the commercial, predominately ‘for hire and reward’ road fleet, with an evaluation of major truck crash incidents.

This report is the seventh in the current series that began in 2002 with the issue of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau Annual Review. The report details research undertaken into major truck crash incidents in Australia where National Transport Insurance (NTI) was the insurance underwriter. It reviews heavy vehicle accidents in the ‘hire & reward’ freight sector where the commercial vehicle’s payload exceeds five tonnes.

The report examines serious truck crash incidents where the quantum of the loss exceeds $50,000. This study has reviewed 606 truck crash incidents reported to NTI during 2015. The aggregate cost of losses in this study was $85.4m which includes own, third party vehicle and property damage.

  • Inappropriate speed for the prevailing conditions continued to be the predominant cause of major truck crashes, accounting for 21.4% of claims registered. 68.4% of speed losses resulted in rollover. 28.9% of major crash incidents involved vehicle rollover whilst on road.
  • 82% of major crash incidents attributed to fatigue occurred in the Australian Eastern States.
  • Outward journeys ex home port, contributed to two out of three reported large losses.
  • 56.1% of major crash incidents occurred between the hours of 0800 and 1700 hours when the on-road population of all vehicles is proportionally highest.
  • Single vehicle accidents (SVAs) contributed to 66% of losses with the balance of 34% involving collisions with third party vehicles.
  • The report found that Victoria was the worst performing State when comparing major truck crash incidents to that State’s share of the freight task.
  • While the Pacific (NSW), Princes Highway (Victoria) and the Bruce Highway (Queensland) were the worst performing highways.
  • Truck fires continued to account for one in ten large loss incidents with electrical failure accounting for 60% of fires starting in the cabin or engine bay.
  • Mechanical failures were inconsequential with a 3.5% crash incident level. (Tyre failure accounted for 52% of losses attributed to mechanical fault.)

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23 days 11 hours ago
ONE main reason I got out of truck driving after 20 years is because of the frustration of only being able to go 100kms/hr on a major highway eg. Hume hwy…this in itself puts drivers to sleep and is frustrating because you can not get around other trucks 1 km slower than you, you can not get around cars that go slow on the flat and then regularly, overtake you on a hill. It is dangerous. Trucks should be speed limited..yes..but to the state speed limits such as 110km/hr. My friends have stopped driving for exactly the same reason. I,… Read more »
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