Accidents involving trucks in Australia are unfortunately not uncommon—a fact that is hard to accept and comprehend. Every year, more than a hundred of people die as a result of truck accidents; because of this, trucking companies are doing additional measures to assure the safety and protection of their drivers as well as other road-users.
According to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), during the 12 months going to the end of June 2017, at least 200 people died from almost 200 accidents involving heavy trucks and buses. The Bureau published that in the said time period, 143 people were killed due to 107 crashes that involved articulated trucks, and 86 deaths from 76 crashes that involved heavy rigid trucks. These numbers, although comparatively lower than deaths resulting from car accidents, are still very much alarming.
There are several reasons why heavy truck accidents happen. The following are some of the most prevalent and common causes of truck accidents in the country:
Driving while under the influence – Operating any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or illicit drug could result in a tragic road accident. Intoxicated drivers are very likely to commit fatal driving errors that could lead to a serious accident. Alcohol and certain drugs could adversely affect a driver’s motor skills, driving performance, ability to quickly react to traffic situation, drowsiness, temperament, and even logical reasoning.
Distracted driving – Heavy truck drivers who use their cell phone, talk to a passenger, eat, drink, or even daydream while driving are at great risk of getting involved in an accident. Distracted drivers have divided attention to driving, which make them vulnerable to commit mistakes that could result in a traffic disaster. So it is important to require drivers to use cellphone accessories that will stop them from using their phones while driving.
Poor weather condition – Not all truck accidents are caused by driver error as some result from inclement weather. Heavy rains or snow can make roads slippery, which makes it harder for heavy vehicles to control and maneuver. Common types of road accident caused by heavy rains or snow are rear-end collisions and sliding accidents.
Poorly maintained vehicles – Trucks that are properly maintained or those that are considered not road-worthy are more likely to be involved in accidents than their well-maintained counterparts. These vehicles may easily breakdown or fail while on the road, which make them a traffic liability. They may also breakdown that could cause a road accident, putting other drivers’ lives in danger.
In order to prevent and reduce chances of accidents involving heavy trucks, trucking and fleet companies are subscribing to ways that could potentially do just that. One of the more recent innovations these companies are using is car tracking device. This particular technology is beneficial in monitoring the location of trucks; hence, when they get involved in an accident, the company can immediately call the attention of authorities.
Companies that use trackers and cellphone accessories on their fleet have better leverage in making sure that their drivers are practicing safe and defensive driving. Since they can be monitored, the company can conveniently determine whether or not their drivers are driving while under the influence by checking the behavior of trucks’ movement and speed. The system does not only make drivers safer but also helps the companies meet their deadlines, which could help them boost their sales.
Even if truck accidents are bound to happen regardless of the efforts of private companies and government bureaus and agencies, safety and preventive measures must be strictly practiced and implemented to somehow alleviate the rising number of truck accidents.