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Fatalities from heavy truck crashes at record low

Reversal in recent experience emerges, with rigids leading the falls


Heavy truck crash fatalities over the 12 months to June hit 157, down 17.8 per cent on last financial year’s 191 and a record low.

The outcome is aided in no small measure by the fall in fatal crashes involving heavy-duty rigid trucks, Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) quarterly  figures show

How much lockdowns have contributed to a 15 per cent fall in fatal heavy-duty truck crashes overall may never be known – the figures give little indication – but it is hugely welcome.

And as welcome is that strong showing from the rigid segment, which actually doubled the fall recorded by articulated trucks, 20 to 10.

See how different the figures looked this time last year, here

After five years of consistent numbers in – or, in one case just under – the 160s the numbers for all heavy truck crashes hit 140, a fall of 17.2 per cent on June 2019’s total.

Indeed, the long-awaited fall in rigid fatal crashes has outstripped that of articulated trucks in the past three years, 7.1 per cent to 5.1 per cent, though, on a 10-year view, rigids are yet to pass the historic 2011 low of 58 and are still above articulateds over that period 1.2 per cent against -4.2 per cent.

On a quarterly basis, it might be noted that, for articulateds, the first half of the financial year was where the better numbers lie, while for rigids, the two middle quarters outstripped those on either side.

That said, movements in what are becoming smaller numbers, may seem like strong spikes while overall importance resides in the longer term trend.


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