It’s probably a no-brainer, but now is an opportune time to begin sending the message to your drivers (and perhaps even yourself) that heavy vehicles need extra space while on the road.
That’s the overwhelming message coming from the National Heavy Vehicle Regular (NHVR) who recently launched the We Need Space campaign in Queensland. At its most simple, the campaign provides advice on how light vehicle drivers should behave when they are around trucks.
Startling new research has shown that light vehicles cause up to 80 per cent of fatal crashes involving heavy vehicles – a simply unacceptable figure.
“Being aware of simple safety tips such as a truck’s blind spot, allowing extra distance for a heavy vehicle to brake and the space needed to turn can reduce the risk for all road users,” Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said.
“Across Australia, we’ve seen a gradual decline in heavy vehicle fatalities from 220 in 2014 to 177 in 2018, but that figure is still too high.”
Research shows most crashes involving heavy vehicles are the fault of the light vehicle driver. That’s why the NHVR created the ‘We Need Space To Keep You Safe’ campaign. @GarthTander @MarkBaileyMP #weneedspace #RoadSafetyF1rst #QRSW2019 #NHVR pic.twitter.com/lJx8kTXLnk
— NHVR (@NHVR) August 30, 2019
Bailey said the most important thing that people need to remember is to give trucks space, particularly when the truck is turning left from the right lane, which they are legally entitled to do.
“People need to be aware of where truck drivers’ blind spots are – the left side is sometimes hard for truck drivers to see; so staying out of these blind spots is an important thing for every light vehicle driver to do any time they are driving in close proximity to trucks.”.
Joining the campaign was Australian Supercars star Garth Tander, who echoed the notion that drivers need to better understand the many competing pressures truck drivers face on the road.
“The truck driver’s role is to get their freight or cargo from A to B as safely and efficiently as possible and likewise the car driver also needs to get from their A to B as safely and efficiently as possible too; but it’s not a race,” said Tander.
“They’re not just operating their trucks, they’re also managing other motorists by checking their blind spots and the space in front and where they have to turn, so motorists need to give them as much space as possible.
“My job when I’m racing is to get to the finish line first and to try and do so safely, but when I’m driving as a motorist it’s a completely different ballgame and my number one priority is that myself and other road users all get to our destinations safely.”
For more advice on heavy vehicles, head to the NHVR website.