The National Truck Accident Research Centre (NTARC) of National Transport Insurance (NTI) has released its Major Accident Investigation 2020 Report, which brings to light what NTI described as “shocking new figures” in terms of truck driver deaths on Australian roads.
According to the transport and logistics insurance giant, NTARC’s latest report shows an increase in the number of deaths for the first time in two decades. It was found that the number of truck drivers who died in 2019 was two and a half times higher compared to the 2017 figure.
In addition, there were nearly 100 more serious incidents last year than in 2017. As for the rise in the number of deaths, it’s unclear what exactly drove the statistic up but NTARC said two of every three crashes were the result of fatigue and distraction.
“The report found the number of truck driver deaths caused by distraction more than doubled in the past two years,” stated NTI chief executive Tony Clark, who believes the findings are an important reminder for everyone to do the right thing while driving.
“Another worrying trend we saw was that 82% of the crashes involving truck drivers aged 25 years and under were caused by distraction.”
Expressing his disappointment, Clark noted: “We had been on a downward trend of heavy vehicle-related deaths and had hoped to hit zero within the next decade, but, tragically, last year we saw more loss of life, not just for truckies but all road users.”
It is no surprise then that NTI welcomes new legislation introduced across Queensland, New South Wales, and Western Australia aimed at addressing distracted driving.