NTI highlights fires rise in latest crash stats

Non-contact fires an increasing worry but lack of fatality fault seen as a substantial silver lining

NTI highlights fires rise in latest crash stats
NTI highlights fires rise in latest crash stats
October 8, 2013

The latest National Transport Insurance (NTI) major heavy vehicle accident statistics show fires outranking fatigue as a cause of major losses amongst the vehicles it looks after.

Fatigue was a direct factor in 11.9 per cent of large NTI-insured crashes, while non-impact fires stood at 12.1 per cent.

But elsewhere there appears to be almost more silver lining than cloud.

While truck drivers were at fault in most non-lethal accident, 70 per cent, not one was the cause of a relevant fatal crash.

"This finding is concerning given the fact that historically the other party is general found to be at fault in the majority of cases," the report says of the first figure.

"Further, when we investigated only fatal incidents, it was established that in every 2011 NTI insured vehicle fatal incident, the driver of the lighter vehicle or the third party, was at fault.

"This was a highly significant outcome from the 2011 data.

"In 2009, the truck was at fault in 18% of NTI insured incidents involving a fatality."

While inappropriate speed, the factor that headlined the previous report two years ago at 31.8 per cent of crashes, was still the leading factor, it had fallen to 25.4 per cent.

The increase in relevant crashes stood at 42 per cent but the report points out that this was directly proportionate to the 43 per cent rise in the insured fleet, from 120,500 units to 172,000 units.

And given that the nominal $50,000 threshold has not increased since the first study was conducted in 2003, the report argues that a major crash rate of 2.7 per 1,000 units was a 42.7 per cent improvement since then.

And, in the same period, the freight task has risen from 150 billion tonne kilometres to 209 billion tonne kilometres.

The 2013 Major Accident Investigation Report, a biennial document compiled by the NTI’s National Truck Accident Research Centre, focuses on accidents in 2011 the claims for which exceed $50,000.

The study researched 461 crashes that accounted for $54.7 million in claims.

The full report
can be read here.

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