Centre for Road Safety

Technology helps reduce crashes

Improvements to heavy vehicle design and safety features have made a proven contribution to reducing the number and severity of crashes. Although they are not always at fault, the size and mass of heavy vehicles make any crash a serious one.

While their numbers make up only 2.4 per cent of NSW motor vehicle registrations and 7.1 per cent of kilometres travelled by all NSW vehicles, heavy vehicles are involved in about 21 per cent of all road fatalities.

Licence conditions has details of some of the restrictions that apply to heavy vehicle drivers.

Crash avoidance technologies

A study by the Monash University Accident Research Centre shows how crash avoidance technologies could improve safety for heavy vehicle drivers and everyone else on the road.

Potential Safety Benefits of Emerging Crash Avoidance Technologies was commissioned by The Vehicle Safety Research Group. The group  includes Transport for NSW’s Centre for Road Safety, the Australian and New Zealand federal transport agencies, the NZAA and most Australian car clubs, and the Victorian Transport Accident Commission. It uses data from more than 7 million real-world crashes to investigate possible ways to improve road safety.

Clever safety systems

To help reduce road trauma, we independently reviewed a wide range of heavy vehicle crash avoidance and harm minimising technologies. Some of the safety systems featured in Safety Technologies for Heavy Vehicles and Combinations (PDF, 1.53Mb) include electronic stability control, antilock braking systems and electronic brake distribution.

Electronic work diaries

To help improve heavy vehicle safety, Transport for NSW funded a $5m national pilot to assess the feasibility of electronic work diaries for heavy vehicle drivers. Electronic work diaries have the potential to replace the written work diaries currently required by law to be used by many truck and bus drivers.

The Final Report – Operational Pilot of Electronic Work Diaries (PDF, 1.57Mb), showed the electronic diaries offered safety and productivity benefits for the transport industry and made it easier for drivers and operators to meet fatigue rules and address compliance risks and inefficiencies. The pilot assessed how electronic work diaries performed in terms of safety, driver and other user acceptance, technical feasibility, legislation and policy, cost benefit and speed monitoring.

More information

Other reports on electronic work diaries can be found on the Transport Certification Australia website and the National Transport Commission website.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is developing a national implementation plan that will allow voluntary use of electronic work diaries.