Heavy truck fatals floor difficult to break through

Articulated crashes fairly level for three year while rigid rise

Heavy truck fatals floor difficult to break through
The BITRE graph


Fatal crash numbers for heavy articulated and rigid trucks have risen over the past three years, the latest Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) figures show.

The statistics, for the last quarter of calendar 2016, show a 1.6 per cent per year increase for articulated and 6.2 per cent for rigid.

For the past year, articulated fatal crashes fell 5.9 per cent while rigid rose 6.8 per cent.

There were 95 fatal articulated crashes claiming 108 lives for the year, a welcome return to two figures after two years at 101 per year, claiming 114 and 115 lives respectively.

Heavy rigid fatal crashes totalled 79 for the year, up from 74 in 2015 and 76 before that, with fatalities totalling 90, 82 and 88 respectively.

While much is made of heavy vehicle dangers to the driving public, drivers and, to a much lesser extent, truck passengers make up about 90 per cent of articulated lives lost and a bit more than 20 per cent of rigid numbers.

Deaths from multiply fatal crashes also far out-weigh single vehicle crashes, at about nine to one for articulated and seven to one for rigid.

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