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NTI NTARC 2022 Report

A note from NTI Chief Sustainability Officer

2021 saw the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Transport Industry continuing to play a pivotal role in the lives of all Australians by providing an ongoing, essential service. This allowed us to enjoy full supermarket shelves, parcel deliveries to our homes, and more, while many Australians endured lockdowns.

The way that the industry soldiered on with professionalism and commitment, even while many faced their own pandemic challenges at home, is a testament to the people and businesses that truly are the backbone of our nation. While the data from this report continues to highlight a number of positive trends, it also reminds us of the need to support and protect the industry’s greatest asset – its people. Grouped together for the first time in this report, “human factors” were found to be responsible for nearly two out of every three serious crashes. While this figure is similar to the results seen in the 2021 Report, it reminds us of the opportunities we have to better integrate technology, driver wellbeing initiatives and workplace culture improvements into transport businesses. NTI will continue to work with industry to advance these discussions.

The Major Accident Investigation Report has been released by NTI since 2005. Looking back on the trends over this time shows just how far the industry has come – and also highlights the importance of using data to generate and inform conversation and change. Since the inaugural report in 2005:

  • Fatigue and inappropriate speed have reduced from being responsible for over 57% of serious truck crashes to under 21% in this report.
  • Fatigue reforms in 2008 saw fatigue-related incidents drop from over 27% to just 10% of major crashes. This figure has remained low at 8.2% in this report.
  • Inappropriate speed as the dominant accident cause reached a peak of 31.8% in 2009. This is now at a record low of 12.5% in 2021.

While much of society is returning to “normal” as we learn to live with COVID-19, the industry is faced with the opportunity to continue improving its approach to safety – not only for the welfare of current and future transport operators, but for all road users. 

Thank you to all who have played a role in creating this important report.

Chris Hogarty

Key findings

  1. In 2021, the overall frequency of serious truck crashes increased slightly from a COVID-19 related low in 2020, however did not return to pre-pandemic levels.
  2. The proportion of serious crashes attributed to human-factor related causes continued a trend of increasing year-on-year to reach 63.5% of all losses.
  3. An increase in Driver Error losses from 40.6% in 2020 to 42.9% in 2021 was a significant contributor to an increase in the overall proportion of losses due to ‘human factors’.
  4. At 8.2%, the proportion of losses due to fatigue remained largely consistent with the proportion seen in 2020 (8.0%), which represents a significant improvement when compared to earlier years.

Download the full report


A review of almost two decades of data since NTI commenced its landmark Major Accident Report back in 2005 reveals significant improvements in the trucking industry’s safety performance, but challenges remain.

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