Truck drivers across the South West are lending their voices to a new campaign that calls for increased awareness from all road users when sharing the road with heavy vehicles.
In a 2017 review of more than 600 serious truck crash incidents where it was the insurer, National Transport Insurance found that in collisions involving fatalities, the truck was not at fault on 93 per cent of occasions.
More than half of major crash incidents occurred during 8am and 5pm when the roads were the busiest.
The report also found there was little or no emphasis on sharing the road safely with heavy vehicles in driver education or license assessments for new drivers across Australia.
Increased stopping distances for heavy vehicles, blind spots and challenges in manoeuvrability are just some of the issues truck drivers want road users to be more aware of.
Industry Road Safety Alliance members Qube and Bis Industries have heavy vehicles transporting goods around the South West every day of the year, and their drivers were happy to talk about their experiences in sharing the roads (and their workplace) with other drivers.
Bis heavy vehicle operator Tim Banks says trucks need much more space than cars when entering highways.
“If you see a truck waiting, please put your indicator on and move into the right lane,” says Tim. “It takes no extra time out of your day, and it makes our job much easier.”
Qube driver Bradley Agius wants drivers to be more aware of the size of heavy vehicles, how much time they need to stop and how much room they need to change lanes.
“There’s quite a bit of difference in the vehicle I’m driving, compared to the vehicle you’re driving,” says Bradley. “If there’s no room in front, emergency braking is a lot harder, so, please give me some room.”
Qube health and safety advisor Deb Symonds wants drivers to be particularly aware of heavy vehicles over the busy Easter break.
“We’ve all got our reasons for being on the road,” says Deb. “You’re out on the road in your caravan, I’m trying to do my job, so let’s all just be courteous and share the road.”