Sta­tis­tics show that 213 road fa­tal­i­ties in­volved heavy ve­hi­cles last year, with 11.3 per cent of those in­clud­ing a bus

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Sta­tis­tics show that 213 road fa­tal­i­ties in­volved heavy ve­hi­cles last year, with 11.3 per cent of those in­clud­ing a bus.

The num­ber of fa­tal bus col­li­sions is up marginally on 2015 after three years of de­clin­ing crash death rates, and has now reached pre-2012 lev­els again.

Th­ese find­ings are de­tailed in the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment De­part­ment of In­fra­struc­ture and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment’s road trauma in­volv­ing heavy ve­hi­cles 2016 sta­tis­ti­cal sum­mary, which was re­leased last month.

This re­port presents counts and rates of fa­tal crashes, fa­tal­i­ties and hos­pi­talised in­juries from road traf­fic crashes in which one or more heavy ve­hi­cles were in­volved.

Of the 213 deaths, 50.2 per cent oc­curred in crashes in­volv­ing an ar­tic­u­lated truck (down on 2015 num­bers), 42.7 per cent in­volved a heavy rigid truck (up com­pared to 2015), and 11.3 per cent in­volved a bus.

Ve­hi­cle oc­cu­pants ( driver or pas­sen­ger) ac­counted for 77 per cent of fa­tal­i­ties from crashes in­volv­ing a heavy ve­hi­cle (av­er­age for 2012-2015, up on the pre­vi­ous four-year pe­riod).

The re­main­der are pedes­tri­ans (11.4 per cent), mo­tor­cy­clists (7.8 per cent) and cy­clists (3.7 per cent).

Of to­tal ve­hi­cle oc­cu­pant deaths, 23.9 per cent were heavy ve­hi­cle oc­cu­pants – this fig­ure was down com­pared to the pre­vi­ous four-year pe­riod.

Ap­prox­i­mately 1700 peo­ple are hos­pi­talised from crashes in­volv­ing heavy ve­hi­cles each year, ac­count­ing for about 5 per cent of all hos­pi­talised road traffi c crash in­juries.

Anal­y­sis by ge­o­graph­i­cal re­gion for 2015 shows that

“The num­ber of fa­tal bus crashes has now reached pre-2012 lev­els again”

most fa­tal ar­tic­u­lated truck-in­volved crashes oc­cur in a re­gional area (73.7 per cent), down marginally on 2014.

The re­main­der oc­cur in a re­mote area (10.1 per cent, up marginally) and in a main city (16.2 per cent, down marginally).

The cor­re­spond­ing pro­por­tions for fa­tal heavy rigid truck in­volved crashes are 58.9 per cent (re­gional, up), 6.8 per cent (re­mote, up) and 34.2 ( city, down).

Over the last 25 years, counts of fa­tal crashes in­volv­ing ar­tic­u­lated trucks have decreased by 39.7 per cent. By ju­ris­dic­tion, the re­duc­tions range from 0 per cent for Queens­land to 64.1 per cent for New South Wales.

Dur­ing this time, how­ever, regis­tra­tions have in­creased by 44 per cent (NSW) and 134 per cent (Queens­land).

Vul­ner­a­ble road users (pedes­tri­ans, mo­tor­cy­clists and cy­clists) ac­count for 15 per cent of fa­tal­i­ties in crashes where an ar­tic­u­lated truck is in­volved.

This pro­por­tion has not changed in 25 years.

For bus-in­volved crashes, vul­ner­a­ble road users ac­count for 50 per cent of fa­tal­i­ties, which has also not sig­nif­i­cantly changed in 25 years.

Above: Counts of fa­tal crashes by heavy ve­hi­cle type

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