A message from Australia’s largest truck insurer over the festive for Australian drivers was to give trucks space on the road and it’s a message that needs to carry over into the new year and beyond.
The call came after research emerged showing that most fatal crashes involving trucks in Australia are caused by cars and not trucks and that these crashes are avoidable.
The insurer deals with more than 13,000 crash claims annually and through it’s CEO Tony Clark, National Transport Insurance is calling for car drivers to give trucks the space, time and respect they need.
“Give them space, give them time, give them respect when you’re near them,” Tony Clark, CEO of National Transport Insurance told 10 News First.
“We know there is often a negative public perception when it comes to truck safety and accidents however this data tells a different story. It’s important to remember trucks are the lifeblood of Australia,” Mr Clark said.
The NTI says 169 people died in crashes involving trucks in the past year and of those crashes cars were to blame 93 per cent of the time.
Ray Hassall from National Heavy Vehicle Regulator told 10 News First that it is crucial we are better informed of the causes of this issue so that the regulator and industry can work together to solve them.
The problem seems to be worse over the Christmas period, but Queensland truck driver Norm Braun said the roads are often erratic, not only just at Christmas.
Another truck driver Daryl Dickenson spoke of a recent near miss he had endured, saying it was not uncommon. He said motorists were careless when trying to overtake trucks,
“I’d say anyone doing any distance would probably see one a day,” Mr Dickenson told 10.
“There’s that much going on in the truck, if they’re down on the sides there you don’t see they are there and that’s a super dangerous spot to be,” Mr Dickenson said.
The message of safety around trucks is one that needs to be emphasized to other motorists not just around the holidays but all year round.