BUSY FREIGHT PERIOD PROMPTS REMINDER FROM TRUCK EXPERTS TO DRIVE CAREFULLY THIS FESTIVE SEASON
As Australians continue to shop online for last minute Christmas gifts, a bumper freight season has begun, prompting a reminder from trucking experts for all motorists to take care on the roads.
An increased number of heavy vehicles is delivering Black Friday sales purchases and Christmas orders. Australia Post figures reveal 52 million parcels were delivered in December last year.
Australia’s largest transport and logistics specialist insurer, NTI, is urging all road users to drive carefully. NTI’s own annual data report, representing the largest on record for heavy vehicles in Australia, shows in 70 per cent of all fatal crashes involving a car and truck, the car driver is at fault.
NTI Chief Customer Officer Janelle Greene said this year was the first festive season since 2019 with no border closures in place.
“Many drivers may be travelling long distances for the first time in a long time,” Ms Greene said.
“That means travelling on unfamiliar roads and sharing routes with a range of vehicle types, from cars, to trucks, to caravans.”
Ms Greene had this advice for those inexperienced, or out of practice, with driving around heavy vehicles.
“Remember it takes a longer distance for trucks to brake, so leave plenty of space if you’re overtaking,” she said.
Since obtaining her own truck licence, Ms Greene has experienced firsthand the challenges of blind spots when operating a truck.
“Trucks have larger blind spots so be conscious the driver may not be able to see you. Trucks also require more space to manoeuvre so avoid any risky behaviours like cutting in front of a heavy vehicle.”
Ms Greene said drivers needed to be particularly aware of distraction and fatigue when travelling long distances.
“NTI research shows a car travelling the opposite direction to a truck is the cause of more than three in every four fatal crashes where the car driver is at fault,” she said.
“Particularly on remote roads, drives can become monotonous. Take your time, schedule plenty of breaks, leave your phone turned off, and remember, the only solution for fatigue is sleep.
“We want everyone to make it to their destination safely this Christmas.”