A new video has highlighted the importance of safe interaction between heavy vehicles and caravan or RV drivers, particularly when overtaking on rural roads.
Funded by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative and produced by Whiteline Television, the new video seeks to explain.
“There are a large number of caravans and RV users returning to regional roads across many parts of Australia,” said Road Safety and Freight Transport Assistant Minister, Scott Buchholz.
“Caravaners and truckies spend a lot of time on our highways, so it’s timely to remind all road users to look after each other and stay safe,” he said.
NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto, said the latest video continues the work the NHVR had undertaken with the caravan industry over the past year.
“I’m pleased that holidaymakers, through the NHVR, Whiteline or caravan industry groups, have a wide range of information to understand the difficult roles and tasks that truckies are undertaking,” said Petroccitto.
“I’m calling on any truck driver who knows someone with a caravan to ‘Tell a mate’ to watch these videos.
Overtaking on a highway
Don’t swerve: Aussies get safety tips to curb rising cases of kangaroo crashes
As more and more Australians hit the road in their vehicles after exercising caution and maintaining social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, instances of road kills have seen a rise in many parts of the country.
According to data from Australian Road Safety Foundation, eight out of ten incidents of car collisions with animals here involve kangaroos.
An official from the foundation recommends that drivers should try their best to not swerve their vehicles if they spot an animal in close proximity.
“It may seem natural to swerve to try to avoid an animal – and of course, none of us want to hurt an animal – but you could end up endangering yourself or someone else by skidding out of control or steering into the path of another car,” ARSF Founder Russell White said.
“By all means brake heavily in a straight line to minimise impact, but don’t swerve in case you lose control of the car or steer into the path of oncoming traffic, which could have fatal consequences.”
Swerving a car may be the natural instinct of any driver in the face of a sudden and imminent collision but experts often highlight how this act alone can amplify the degree of a road accident, whether it involves an animal or not.
In Australia in particular, drivers on highways often have to account for the sudden appearance of animals, apart from all other road hazards that are common the world over. Many say that the unpredictable nature of an animal puts the onus on a car driver to not only protect himself/herself and the car but the animal too.