AUSTRALIA'S leading truck insurer, National Transport Insurance (NTI), has issued a safety warning to all holiday-makers taking to the roads this Easter.
NTI Chief Executive Officer Tony Clark said the company's new 2015 Major Accident Investigation Report showed half of all major truck crash incidents occurred on highways.
He urged holiday-makers, who might normally spend a lot of time on city roads, to be alert if they planned to take to the national highways over Easter.
"Every year holiday-makers load up the car on Easter Thursday, after a full day of work, and drive for long periods on roads they aren't necessarily familiar with," he said.
"This is a recipe for disaster.
"Fatigue, inappropriate overtaking, lack of visibility through over-loading, and underestimating the road conditions are a dangerous mix during holiday periods, so please take extra care this Easter if you're on the roads."
Mr Clark urged the trucking industry to also step up over this busy time, when traffic on national highways increases.
"With greater congestion on our major highways over Easter, NTI urges the thousands of professional drivers to remain acutely aware of conditions and the threat of less experienced road users as they deliver the necessary supplies for the Easter holidays."
He recommended motorists keep in mind four tips when sharing the road with trucks this Easter:
- Don't cut in: Trucks are heavier than cars, so need more space when stopping. For example, at 100km/hr a truck needs an extra 30m to come to a stop compared to a car travelling at the same speed.
- Give trucks room to turn: Some trucks need extra room at corners, intersections and roundabouts. Trucks over 7.5m must carry a sign saying "Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle". This means the truck can legally use two lanes to make their turn, and may need to turn left across your path to turn left.
- Be aware of blind spots: Remember - if you can't see the driver's mirrors, he/she can't see you!
- Overtake with care: It takes about 25 seconds to overtake a prime mover on the open road. That's a long time if you're on the wrong side of the road - and even longer if the truck is a B-Double or B-Triple. Make sure you have the time and clear visibility.
To download a copy of the NTI 2015 Major Accident Investigation Report, visit www.nti.com.au.