Fatalities involving heavy vehicles are down over the last decade

Peter Terlato 12 July 2016

heavy vehicle truck

Down almost 20% in the last 10 years.

The number of fatal crashes involving heavy vehicles in Australia has decreased dramatically over the last decade, according to new road trauma statistics released this week.

The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) released its 2015 report detailing counts and rates of fatal crashes, fatalities and hospitalised injuries from road traffic crashes involving one or more heavy vehicles.

Over the last ten years, the number of deaths from crashes involving heavy vehicles has declined by 19.8%. This equates to an average decrease of around 3% each year.

The report revealed 211 people were killed in crashes involving heavy vehicles in 2015. Of the three heavy vehicle categories, deaths related to accidents involving an articulated truck were the most common (53%), followed by heavy rigid trucks (37.2%) and buses (9.8%).

In the last 10 years, heavy vehicle fatal crash rates per billion vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) decreased across all three categories.

Of those killed in heavy vehicle accidents, 73% are vehicle occupants (either driver or passenger) and of these 24.1% are heavy vehicle occupants.

There are three key crash types associated with heavy vehicle fatalities - intersection crashes, head-on crashes and single vehicle run-off road crashes. For articulated trucks, head-on crashes (33.6%) were the most common in 2015. Heavy rigid trucks were most likely to be involved in intersection accidents (32.2%).

Between 2008 and 2014, the majority (51.9%) of fatal crashes involving heavy vehicles occurred on national or state highways.

A recent Australian study revealed around 29,000 men and 13,000 women were killed as a result of a road traffic incident (RTI) in 2011. However, Aussies are far more likely to die from heart disease, cancer, suicide, diabetes and other causes of death.

If you've been involved in a car accident, follow our step-by-step guide, explaining what to do and who to contact.

Picture: Gilles Paire / Shutterstock.com

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