VSRG Research Program: An Analysis of Heavy Vehicle Safety Performance in Australia

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Abstract

Heavy vehicle travel in Australasia is predicted to continue to grow faster than for other vehicle types. Without further intervention, such increases will likely increase the number of heavy vehicle drivers involved and injured in road crashes. This project addresses the knowledge deficit by quantifying the heavy vehicle safety problem associated with various heavy vehicle types using Australian and New Zealand Police reported crash data of 2006 to 2017. Crashworthiness and aggressivity measures were determined for heavy vehicles by type: rigid trucks in three size categories (>3t to ≤4.5t, 4.5 to 12t and >12t), articulated trucks, and buses with at least 9 seats in two size categories (>3t to ≤5t and >5t). Australian crash data were projected to 2030 using current trends in vehicle travel exposure, and trauma associated with heavy vehicle safety was estimated for both the current and future situations. According to current trends and relative to 2017, a 23% growth in fatalities and hospitalisations (serious injuries) arising from heavy vehicle collisions was projected for 2030 if heavy vehicle safety trends continue without intervention. This growth has more impact on the collision partner injury which was projected to grow by 31% and will remain the predominant injury burden from heavy vehicle crashes. Except for large buses, which were found to have good crashworthiness, the crashworthiness of all other heavy vehicle types was worse than the average for light vehicles. Poor aggressivity was identified as a particular problem for heavy vehicles with serious injury risk to collision partners with a heavy vehicle being between two and four times greater than for a light vehicle. Analysis from this study highlights an urgent need to focus on improving the safety of heavy vehicles in Australia in terms of crash avoidance and injury protection.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMelbourne Vic Australia
PublisherMUARC
Commissioning bodyTransport for NSW (New South Wales)
Number of pages51
ISBN (Electronic)9781925413243
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Heavy vehicles
  • crashworthiness
  • aggressivity
  • articulated truck
  • rigid truck
  • bus
  • serious injury
  • forecast

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