Heavy Vehicles

Heavy goods vehicles (trucks) and buses have an important role to play in the economic wellbeing of any country.

The greater mass of heavy vehicles means that consequences of any crashes they are involved in tend to be severe. As they interact with other road users (especially vulnerable ones such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists) there can be serious safety consequences, especially without adequate facilities and controls.

Truck occupants are also at risk themselves, particularly in higher speed environments. Trucks may run off the road or collide with other vehicles, with serious consequences to occupants.

Data also exists in some countries on single heavy vehicle crashes that result in multiple fatalities of up to and over 30 deaths. This is from crashes involving public transport heavy vehicles.

Driver errors resulting from speed (Treatments\Safer People\Speed), drink driving (Treatments\Safer People\Alcohol and other drugs) and fatigue (Treatments\Safer People\Fatigue) all contribute to truck crashes. Vehicle defects (Treatments\Safer Vehicles\Vehicle Roadworthiness) may also play a significant role in truck crashes. Recently manufacturers have made advances in the design of heavy vehicles and in some countries regulation of their use is well established.

There are also many road related factors that influence the risk of crashes. It is often easier and cheaper to improve safety through a change to the road environment than it is to change driver behaviour, so improvements in the road system are an important means of improving road safety.

Road related contributing factors to crashes include

  • High speeds
  • Uncontrolled movements and turns, especially at intersections and access points
  • Lack of separation of vehicles or road users of different size (e.g. lack of facilities for pedestrians and cyclists)
  • Lack of separation for vehicles travelling in different directions (e.g. lack of median barriers)
  • Tight radius turns
  • Lack of advanced warning of hazards
  • Inadequate information to enable road users to negotiate the roadway safely
  • Presence of hazards, particularly at the roadside (e.g. utility poles and trees)
  • Poor road surface

    Safer Roads
    Estimated cost
    Casualty Reduction
    Central Turning Lane Full Length
    Low
    10-25%
    Delineation
    Low
    10-25%
    Intersection - Delineation
    Low
    10-25%
    Central Hatching
    Low
    10-25%
    Rumble Strips
    Low
    10-25%
    Median Crossing Upgrade
    Low to medium
    25-40%
    Skid Resistance
    Low to medium
    25-40%
    Roadside Safety - Hazard Removal
    Low to medium
    25-40%
    Intersection - Turn Lanes (Signalised)
    Low to medium
    10-25%
    Intersection - Turn Lanes (Unsignalised)
    Low to medium
    10-25%
    Parking Improvements
    Low to medium
    10-25%
    Regulate Roadside Commercial Activity
    Low to medium
    10-25%
    Intersection - Signalise
    Medium
    25-40%
    Railway Crossing
    Medium
    60% or more
    One Way Network
    Medium
    25-40%
    Roadside Safety - Barriers
    Medium
    40-60%
    Shoulder Sealing
    Medium
    25-40%
    Speed Management
    Medium
    25-40%
    Road Surface Rehabilitation
    Medium
    25-40%
    Traffic Calming
    Medium to high
    25-40%
    Lane Widening
    Medium to high
    25-40%
    Median Barrier
    Medium to high
    60% or more
    Restrict/Combine Direct Access Points
    Medium to high
    25-40%
    Intersection - Roundabout
    Medium to high
    60% or more
    Additional Lane
    High
    25-40%
    Intersection - Grade Separation
    High
    25-40%
    Realignment - Horizontal
    High
    25-40%
    Realignment - Vertical
    High
    10-25%
    Duplication
    High
    25-40%
    Service Road
    High
    25-40%
    Safer Vehicles
    Estimated cost
    Casualty Reduction
    Motor Vehicle Standards
    Low
    60% or more
    Vehicle Roadworthiness
    Low
    60% or more
    Safer People
    Estimated cost
    Casualty Reduction
    Enforcement
    Low
    60% or more
    Addressing Alcohol and Other Drugs
    Low
    60% or more
    Education
    Low
    60% or more
    Seatbelts
    Low
    60% or more
    Safe Speed
    Low
    60% or more
    Publicity
    Low
    60% or more
    Emergency Response
    Medium
    40-60%
    Licensing
    Medium
    40-60%

    Safer Roads

    Safer Roads
    Estimated cost
    Casualty Reduction
    Central Turning Lane Full Length
    Low
    10-25%
    Delineation
    Low
    10-25%
    Intersection - Delineation
    Low
    10-25%
    Central Hatching
    Low
    10-25%
    Rumble Strips
    Low
    10-25%
    Median Crossing Upgrade
    Low to medium
    25-40%
    Skid Resistance
    Low to medium
    25-40%
    Roadside Safety - Hazard Removal
    Low to medium
    25-40%
    Intersection - Turn Lanes (Signalised)
    Low to medium
    10-25%
    Intersection - Turn Lanes (Unsignalised)
    Low to medium
    10-25%
    Parking Improvements
    Low to medium
    10-25%
    Regulate Roadside Commercial Activity
    Low to medium
    10-25%
    Intersection - Signalise
    Medium
    25-40%
    Railway Crossing
    Medium
    60% or more
    One Way Network
    Medium
    25-40%
    Roadside Safety - Barriers
    Medium
    40-60%
    Shoulder Sealing
    Medium
    25-40%
    Speed Management
    Medium
    25-40%
    Road Surface Rehabilitation
    Medium
    25-40%
    Traffic Calming
    Medium to high
    25-40%
    Lane Widening
    Medium to high
    25-40%
    Median Barrier
    Medium to high
    60% or more
    Restrict/Combine Direct Access Points
    Medium to high
    25-40%
    Intersection - Roundabout
    Medium to high
    60% or more
    Additional Lane
    High
    25-40%
    Intersection - Grade Separation
    High
    25-40%
    Realignment - Horizontal
    High
    25-40%
    Realignment - Vertical
    High
    10-25%
    Duplication
    High
    25-40%
    Service Road
    High
    25-40%

    Safer Vehicles

    Safer Vehicles
    Estimated cost
    Casualty Reduction
    Motor Vehicle Standards
    Low
    60% or more
    Vehicle Roadworthiness
    Low
    60% or more

    Safer People

    Safer People
    Estimated cost
    Casualty Reduction
    Enforcement
    Low
    60% or more
    Addressing Alcohol and Other Drugs
    Low
    60% or more
    Education
    Low
    60% or more
    Seatbelts
    Low
    60% or more
    Safe Speed
    Low
    60% or more
    Publicity
    Low
    60% or more
    Emergency Response
    Medium
    40-60%
    Licensing
    Medium
    40-60%

    Did you know?

    Lane-change crashes are common on high volume multi-lane roads

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