- Only 20% of all accidents involving heavy vehicles are the heavy vehicles’ fault
- Heavy vehicles can need up to double the space a normal vehicle takes to come to a stop
- Heavy vehicles have much larger blind spots than normal vehicles
In 2016 the percentage of heavy vehicle involvement in the total amount of crashes in Australia was 14.7%. However, heavy vehicles made up only 3% of the total registered vehicles in the country. This tell us that heavy vehicles are involved in a disproportionately high amount of accidents taking place on Australian roads. Looking at the data, we found that 80% of crashes involving heavy vehicles were classified as multiple-vehicle, while only 10% were put down as single-vehicles crashes. Compare this with the rate of single-vehicle crashes of normal vehicles at much higher 45% and it becomes clear that heavy vehicle drivers are far less likely to be involved in a crash by themselves than normal drivers.
Not to mention that in all of the fatal crashes involving heavy vehicles, heavy vehicle drivers were only considered at fault in 20% of the collisions. So if heavy vehicle drivers are so much safer at driving, why is there such a high percentage of crashes involving trucks?
There are several factors contributing to the large numbers of heavy vehicle crashes, with the main one being the misconception that heavy vehicles operate in the same way normal vehicles do. Heavy vehicles have different limitations to normal cars when it comes to issues like accelerating and slowing down, turning and blind spots.
The following guide is to help understand the limitations heavy vehicles have and what other drivers around them can do to minimise the risk of an accident occurring.