Prime Mover Magazine

NTARC and NTI release 2020 accident investigation report

Truck insurance specialist, National Transport Insurance (NTI), has released its latest report compiled by the National Truck Accident Research Centre (NTARC) which covers major incidents in 2019.

The presentation details driver errors (inattention and distraction), non-impact fire, truck driver fatalities, fatigue, car and truck collisions, and steer tyre failure.

The report is the ninth in a series examining issues and trends in heavy vehicle road safety using data from heavy motor insurance claims of greater than $50,000 incident cost involving at least one vehicle insured with NTI. It examines 848 incidents which occurred in 2019, an increase of 92 over 2017 data.

A summary of findings include:

  • Overall frequency of large losses (corrected for inflation) dropped from around one in every 400 NTI-insured heavy vehicles in 2017 to one in every 500 in 2019.
  • Driver error losses increased sharply from 29.6 per cent to 39 per cent after a significant increase in incidents resulting from inattention/ distraction.
  • Where a truck and a car were involved in a fatal crash, the car was at-fault 80 per cent of the time.
  • The proportion of incidents resulting in at least one fatality increased from 3.0 per cent to 4.8 per cent. This was overwhelmingly driven by an increase in truck driver deaths.
  • In 2017, no NTI-insured truck drivers lost their lives in a multi-vehicle crash, whereas in 2019 there were multiple instances of truck versus truck crashes where one or more truck drivers were killed.
  • Fatigue losses provide conflicting conclusions – there was a continuation of the downwards trend in the proportion of large losses resulting from fatigue, which decreased to a record low of 9.6 per cent. Fatigue, unfortunately, remains the single largest cause of truck driver deaths. 34.8 per cent of truck driver deaths in NTI losses were as a result of fatigue.
  • Losses from non-impact fires increased from 8.1 per cent to 10 per cent of large losses, this increase was predominantly driven by an increase in wheel-end fires.

NTI is committed to working with its customers and industry to improve its understanding of factors influencing safety outcomes.

Adam Gibson, Transport and Risk Engineer at NTI, said in a seminar in 2019 that non-impact fires occur at the rate of one truck in every 5,000 per year.

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