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National Transport Insurance releases new truck accident study

National Transport Insurance has released the findings from its latest study into serious truck accidents reported to the insurer during 2009. The company’s National Truck Accident Research Centre recently concluded the investigation into 323 major crash incidents with a combined cost of AUD$44M.

The report continues a series of research studies conducted by NTI since 2002 reviewing Australian heavy vehicles, with a carrying capacity greater than five tonnes, involved in serious accidents.

“This research is essential to having an indepth understanding of accident causes and trends within the transport industry,” said NTI’s National Manager, Industry Relations, and author of the study, Owen Driscoll. “As Australia’s leading truck insurance specialist, NTI is committed to improving road safety and educating all drivers in how to share the roads with heavy vehicles.”

Some key stats include:

  • Inappropriate speed for the conditions was found to be the leading cause of serious accidents at 31%.
  • In fatal crashes involving other vehicles, the other driver was at fault in 82% of the accidents.
  • Fatigue related serious truck crashes have reduced by 50% since the last study.
  • Since the first research study in 2002, the frequency of serious truck crashes has decreased by 27%.
  • 23% of serious truck crashes occurred on Australia’s National Highway 1. Queensland’s Bruce and Warrego Highways were the worst with proportionally more incidents than any other major roads.
  • The Hume Highway is the best performing highway with the fewest major accidents.
  • The bigger they are, the safer they are – B Doubles carry 46% of freight yet account for only 28% of serious truck crashes.

NTI has used the research to establish a new panel of experts to address safety issues within the road transport industry.

“The panel will independently study the findings from the research and submit recommendations to road safety authorities annually,” Mr Driscoll said.