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Newly released report examines truck crash fatality figures

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The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) has just released its latest information report for fatal crashes involving heavy vehicles.

The ‘Road trauma involving heavy vehicles 2019 statistical summary’ reveals that a total of 188 people were killed in crashes involving heavy trucks in 2019, an increase of 19.7 per cent compared to 2018. Over ten years, the trend shows an average reduction of 2.7 per cent per year.

Articulated truck involved fatalities increased by 11.5 per cent when compared with 2018. The 10-year fatality trend is a reduction of 5.4 per cent per year.

For fatalities involving a heavy rigid truck, 2019 saw an increase of 20.5 per cent over 2018, and over the last ten years the trend was an increase of 1.4 per cent per year.

Vulnerable road users (pedestrians, pedal cyclists or motorcyclists) account for 33 per cent of all road crash deaths. When a heavy truck is involved, these road users account for approximately 20 per cent of deaths.

Those in light vehicles account for approximately 47 per cent of the total fatalities involving heavy trucks. Heavy truck occupants account for about 29 per cent.

Of total single vehicle crashes over the last 3 years, 5.3 per cent of the fatalities involved heavy trucks. In multiple vehicle crashes, heavy truck involvement accounted for 18.3 per cent of the total fatalities.

Over the last five years, 81 percent of fatalities in crashes involving an articulated truck occurred in an ABS Regional or Remote area. For heavy rigid truck involved fatalities, this proportion is 58 per cent.

Approximately 70 per cent of fatalities in crashes involving articulated trucks occur in speed zones of 100 km/h or above. Fatal crashes involving heavy rigid trucks are more skewed towards lower speed limits, but almost 50 per cent still occur at high speed zones. These proportions have not changed appreciably over the last decade.

The latest hospitalisation data (2018) shows that approximately 510 heavy truck occupants are hospitalised from road crashes each year. High threat to life injuries comprises around 34 per cent of that number.

To view the full report, click here.

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