Operators who effectively maintain their vehicles are less likely to be involved in an incident, according to trucking insurer NTI and National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).
Data from NTI's NTARC Major Accident Investigation Report and the NHVR's National Roadworthiness Baseline Survey examined 10 key areas, including brakes, couplings, steering and suspension, wheels and tyres, structure, seats, lights, mirrors, windscreens, and engine and driveline to determine the correlation between poor maintenance and increased claims frequency and cost.
The report found a 29% increase in frequency and a 22% increase in the cost of claims for transport companies with poorly maintained couplings. Meanwhile, the frequency for wheel and tyre defects was 32% higher than the baseline, and the cost was 26% higher.
NTI's transport & logistics risk engineer Adam Gibson, the report author, commented: “It's important to note this does not show crashes were caused by defects in those systems, but that operators with trucks in which couplings, wheels, and tyres were not well maintained were involved in a greater number of claims. The link is correlative, not causative.”
“There was only a 3% higher frequency and 4% higher cost compared to the baseline for operators who had vehicles with defects in their braking system. This is due to the way braking systems were tested back in 2016, and that process has now undergone a significant overhaul.”
NHVR director vehicle safety and performance Peter Austin added: “Well maintained vehicles operating on our road network are essential to the safety of all road users.
“The NHVR has a long-standing commitment to evidence-based enforcement, which is why we take a national, risk-based approach to check whether heavy vehicles in the fleet are maintained. If we see a history of non-compliance, we intervene early and investigate further to prevent a potential accident from occurring.
“The report marks an important step forward, with the expertise and insights shared across the regulator and insurer providing opportunities to reduce fatalities on our roads.”