Directing a greater focus on public road user safety is required to combat changes sweeping across road users’ behaviour according to a leading telematics company.
Teletrac Navman has pledged it will engage road users to help change unsafe behaviour on the roads by creating education and awareness campaigns with extra emphasis placed on taking extra care around trucks.
Road safety blind spots caused by two years of COVID lockdowns have had pronounced behavioural effects for road users with a 19 per cent increase to date in fatal accidents on NSW roads and a 13 per cent increase in road fatalities across Victoria.
While not as severe, Queensland fatalities have, in this category, still increased by 3.2 per cent.
These damning figures follow a 2021 report by Budget Direct that noted 64 per cent of surveyed drivers had been involved in at least one vehicle accident.
Australia’s unique landscape consists of varied roads and driving conditions, posing an increased risk to road users who venture across congested cities, to regional towns, to rural red dirt roads.
Given the post-COVID desire to escape and travel, road users are navigating this varying landscape more frequently.
Research has shown that in 2022, Australians are intending to travel further and for longer periods across Australia, most aspiring to self-drive, while 86 per cent stating the aspiration to be on the road for multiple weeks or months.
Technology has changed aspects of road safety for many road users, with the use of collision alerts and reverse cameras in newer vehicles, road users still need to be aware of the visibility and agility heavy vehicles lacked.
By leveraging advanced technological solutions like telematics for fleet and heavy vehicles, the overall risk to safety across rapidly populated roads is reduced.
According to Queensland Trucking Association, Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mahon Road Safety Week highlights the importance of all aspects of safety on our roads.
“Any road user embarking on long-distance recreational trips should put thought into trip planning, just as truck drivers do for their journeys,” he said.
“This includes meal and rest breaks, vehicle maintenance, weight and towing capacity and passenger restraint. Of number one importance is wearing a seatbelt as this is still the single most important safety precaution anyone can take in a vehicle,” said Mahon.
“Our truck drivers are traveling in and around large volumes of traffic each day, whether it be in the city, highway, or rural roads. We ask all road users to show patience when interacting with heavy vehicles, give them plenty of space on the road and be acutely aware of a truck’s blind spots.”
Businesses like Teletrac Navman are helping fleet vehicles operate in safer conditions by accessing the benefits digital transformation can have within their operation.
Telematics are commonly understood as a crucial technological advantage allowing data to drive safety on the road, despite the compounding poor driver behaviour developing during the past two years.
The use of Telematics in heavy vehicles across varied Australian landscape helps reduce the overall safety risk on the road for all road users, providing fleet and truck drivers a continual comprehensive risk assessment through real-time data and insights, removing barriers therefore to achieving safety.
“Telematics is changing the way road access in our regions is being managed,” said Bec Coleman, Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association NSW COO.
“It’s increasing visibility of higher productivity vehicles’ movement across road networks, which supports infrastructure planning, maintenance and funding leading to safer roads,” she said.
Safety on the road is also a primary focus for ALDI Australia, Kelly Wells, Logistics Director, ALDI Australia said.
“We recognise and are grateful for the important role our transport operators have in ensuring Australians have access to essential groceries every day,” she said.
“We treat the safety of our drivers, and the safety of the communities around us, with the utmost importance and have invested significantly in comprehensive training and data-driven technology. This includes the rollout of telematics technology across our entire transport fleet, to ensure our teams are equipped with the tools to do their jobs effectively and to keep them safe,” said Wells.
“As a business with a safety-first culture, we will continue to go above and beyond when it comes to maintaining the highest standards of driver safety on the roads.”
Teletrac Navman has announced it is committed to creating solutions that enable a safe road ecosystem for all road users.
“We pledge to engage all road users and help change unsafe behaviour on the roads by creating education and awareness campaigns,” it said in a statement.
“We place emphasis on taking extra care around trucks.”