Look after yourself
Speeding is the leading behavioural factor in deaths and serious injuries on NSW roads. From 2005 to 2014, there were 86 truck drivers involved in fatal crashes and 538 involved in serious injury crashes who were considered speeding.
Speeding is not just driving faster than the posted speed limit. It also includes driving too fast for the weather, light, traffic and road conditions.
Research shows that for every 5 km/h over a 60 km/h speed limit, the risk of a casualty crash doubles. Exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 km/h increases your risk of crashing by four times.
Use a seatbelt
In a crash, seatbelts stop drivers and passengers being thrown around, or being thrown out of the truck. Research has shown that you’ve got a 50 per cent better chance of surviving a potentially fatal crash if you’re wearing a seatbelt.
From 2005 to 2014, truck drivers who did not use an available restraint were involved in 51 fatal and 133 serious injury crashes. All heavy vehicle drivers and passengers must wear a seatbelt. Fines and demerit points apply to drivers found not wearing a seatbelt.
Don’t drive tired
Fatigue is one of the top three behavioural factors involved in serious crashes on NSW roads. Driving tired affects your safety as well as the safety of your passengers and other road users. From 2005 to 2014, there were 46 fatigued truck drivers involved in fatal crashes and 306 fatigued truck drivers involved in serious injury crashes.
Fatigue doesn’t just make you feel tired. It affects your body and driving, slows your reactions, reduces concentration and causes fatal microsleeps. The main causes are not enough sleep, working long hours, working at night and irregular work and sleep schedules.
Professional drivers need to know what causes fatigue and how to pick up on the early warning signs before it affects your driving. Pull over and rest if you experience any of these warning signs:
- Poor concentration
- Sore or tired eyes
Heavy vehicle drivers’ hours of work and rest are regulated and enforceable under the Heavy Vehicle National Law regulations. Drivers must make sure they comply at all times with these work and rest hours.
Generally, if drivers are travelling more than 100km from their base of operations, they must also record their work and rest hours in a work diary. Heavy vehicle drivers should check the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator website for more information on when they are required to carry and complete a work diary.
Drivers, operators/employers and everyone in the delivery chain are responsible for making sure fatigue is managed properly.
Keep your load in check
Loose or incorrectly restrained loads can cause serious crashes which could injure or kill someone, damage property or cause a hazard to other road users. All heavy vehicle drivers and those in the transport supply chain have a legal responsibility to ensure that loads are securely restrained.
The Load Restraint Guide on the National Transport Commission website has information on how to secure a load correctly.
Under the Heavy Vehicle National Law regulations there are heavy fines and court attendance notices apply for non-compliance.
Roads and Maritime Heavy Vehicle Industry Liaison Officers help drivers and industry operators to understand their compliance obligations. The officers provide advice on heavy vehicle safety areas such as:
- Fatigue management
- Load restraint
- Access to the NSW road network
- Chain of responsibility
- Compliance issues