Transurban has partnered with the Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) on truck safety for National Road Safety Week.
The impetus behind the campaign is to have motorists show their support to the heavy vehicle industry and its professional drivers by using National Road Safety Week to educate themselves around the safe interaction with trucks on Australian roads and motorways.
Despite significant disruptions due to COVID-19 and severe weather events, the road freight industry has kept goods and services moving-delivering critical grocery, construction and medical supplies to communities.
Liz Waller, Head of Road Safety at Transurban, said road safety is a shared responsibility.
“With increased numbers of private vehicles returning to the roads alongside heavy freight transport, I urge everyone to think about how they can share the road safely, get to know truck blind spots and start a conversation about truck safety with colleagues, family and friends,” she said.
“Professional truck drivers regularly encounter other road users conducting quick lane changes or lingering in their blind spots without knowing the danger they are placing themselves and the truck driver in. Unfortunately, the outcome can be significant in the event of a crash,” said Waller.
“This lack of awareness can contribute to road incidents and near misses which we analyse closely at Transurban using in-vehicle data and roadway technologies to improve safety for all road users.”
Gary Mahon, QTA Chief Executive Officer, shares Transurban’s commitment to safety and agreed an investment in truck safety education was an important part of educating all motorists.
“There are a few simple steps motorists can take to reduce the risk of incident when sharing the road with trucks,” he said
“If a truck is in your vicinity, avoid driving immediately behind it as you will not be visible to the driver. If you can’t see the truck’s mirrors when behind it, the truck driver will not see you,” said Mahon.
“If you are in an adjacent lane, sit well behind the trailer so the truck driver can use his rear-view mirrors to keep you in sight.
“Continued education about blind spots, along with reminders about the dangers of fatigue, distraction and speed, all play an essential part in making the roads safer for everybody.”
As the workplace of a truck driver is on the nation’s roads Mahon wants that workplace to be as safe as possible for the people behind the wheel of the trucks delivering into communities.
“We encourage people young and old to seek out an opportunity to get into a truck cabin to heighten their sense of awareness of truck blind spots and understand the importance of respecting the space heavy vehicles need around them to safely operate on our roads,” he said.
“We are fortunate to have several of the large truck manufacturers here in Australia who understand the operating environment of our roads and continue to design innovative safety features to increase blind spot visibility, but the stark reality is many motorists remain unaware of truck blind spots or the length of stopping distances they require.”