The influence of trends in heavy vehicle travel on road trauma in the light vehicle fleet
Keywords: Heavy Vehicles
Submission Date: 2006
Increased travel by heavy vehicles (rigid trucks, articulated trucks and buses) has been identified as one of the key components of total growth in vehicle travel over the next ten years. This paper examines the effect of anticipated growth in heavy vehicle travel on the light passenger vehicle fleet by measuring changes in road trauma levels as measured by the number of light vehicle driver fatalities and serious injuries resulting from collisions with heavy vehicles. Using data sourced primarily from the BTRE, the ABS and NSW Police reported crash database, a model to project
relevant future trends in road trauma is developed to reflect three key elements of the road trauma
chain: exposure, crash risk and injury outcome given crash involvement. In addition to the specific results presented in this study, the model developed may be used to assess the likely impact of proposed policy changes on heavy vehicle related road trauma. Future heavy vehicle related road trauma trends are projected based on two scenarios of future crash risk. The results demonstrate the sensitivity of heavy vehicle related road trauma to crash risk and highlight the importance of continuing to reduce heavy vehicle crash rates to offset projected growth in heavy vehicle travel and deliver reductions in heavy vehicle related road trauma. A potential remedy to predicted increases in heavy vehicle related trauma is explored and demonstrates the application of the model as a policy evaluation tool.