Fatal crash statistics stuck in a rut, BITRE figures show


Reducing incidents further appears a difficult task for the industry

Fatal crash statistics stuck in a rut, BITRE figures show
The graph for the past 10 years

 

Despite efforts of industry and authorities, the national truck fatalities trend remains stubbornly static, statistics for the March quarter show.

The picture is painted in the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics’ (BITRE) latest Fatal Heavy Vehicle Crashes Australia report.

It shows an uptick tor the quarter on a month-on-month and 12 months to March basis against a backdrop of historically better outcomes and more trucks on the road but with further improvements not forthcoming.

Fatal crashes involving articulated trucks resulted in 118 deaths from 104 incidents, up by 7.2 per cent compared with the corresponding period a year earlier and up an average of 0.9 per cent per year over the three years to March 2017.

While preceding four calendar year and 12 months to March fatal crash totals are between 90 and 101, they are lower than 2012’s 124 and the years before.

Calendar year fatality numbers have fallen from 148 to 107 last year, but with a comparatively large March quarter and unless there is a significant quarterly fall later in the year, the chances of testing the 100 mark look forlorn.

On a state basis, Western Australia has the good news, with fatal crashes in the 12 months to March falling from 13 to six, while Victoria’s total rose from 18 to 25, with the rest quite steady.

Heavy rigids featured in 87 deaths from 77 crashes, up 4.1 per cent compared with the corresponding period one year earlier and increased by an average of 2.5 per cent per year over the three years to March 2017.

After a three-year period below the 80 fatal crashes mark from 2009, heavy rigids have mostly zig-zagged on or just below that line ever since.

It is much the same story for fatalities in this segment, with calendar year totals back above the 90 mark.

South Australia’s March quarter rose from one to nine while Queensland’s fell from 17 to 12.

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