Prime Mover Magazine

NTI’s quest to improve road safety

NTI’s quest to improve road safety

Australia is renowned for having an exceptionally vibrant transport scene that continues to lift the benchmark in modern vehicle design. But does that enviable reputation translate into a safety advantage? A new NTI report might have the answers. Prime Mover was allowed an exclusive first look.

Safety is not just a hollow catchword in Australia’s commercial road transport industry. From boardroom to bitumen, hardly a topic is discussed more often, more critically and more extensively – especially since the widely publicised Mona Vale incident in late 2013. 

In November, Prime Mover took the initiative to showcase just how much is being done to ensure Australia’s truck fleet is safe to operate – think technology like Mercedes-Benz’ new Blind Spot Assist or the ATA’s well-regarded risk management system, TruckSafe.

Building on that first snapshot, Prime Mover now had a chance to access Australia’s most comprehensive heavy vehicle safety database – the National Transport Insurance’s (NTI) 2015 Major Accident Investigation Report – to find out how safe life on the road really is at the moment. Compiled by the NTI’s own National Truck Accident Research Centre (NTARC), the bi-annual Report provides in-depth information on crash causes and areas requiring attention, all while delivering a powerful road safety message.

When it was first released in 2002, the NTARC Report was the only document of its kind to reveal details on the actual causes of truck crashes in Australia, which often involve extensive independent investigations. Today, that is still very much the case – in fact, the NTARC Report has become so comprehensive that its launch is now highly anticipated by road agencies, statisticians and road safety groups alike.

One sobering key finding of the 2015 edition is that the number of ‘serious losses’ increased by 16 per cent compared to 2013. As a result, NTARC had to note a 3.1 per cent increase of major accidents per 1000 units insured. It is worth noting, though, that the nominal $50,000 threshold has not been increased since the initial 2002 Report – so in today’s dollar value, there is actually an improvement of 35 per cent, or a one third decrease in serious crashes.

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