Road Trauma Involving Heavy Vehicles—Annual Summaries

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This report presents counts and rates of fatal crashes, fatalities and hospitalised injuries from road traffic crashes in which one or more heavy vehicles were involved.

2017 : At a glance

  • 216 people died in 2017 from 196 fatal crashes involving heavy vehicles (articulated truck, heavy rigid truck and/or bus). This was an increase from 2016 (207 deaths from 185 crashes).
  • Most - 192 people - killed in 2017 in crashes involved heavy trucks (articulated and/or heavy rigid trucks), up 2.7 per cent on 2016. This represents 15.7 per cent of Australian road deaths in 2017. In 2017 deaths from crashes involving articulated trucks decreased while deaths from crashes involving heavy rigid trucks increased.
  • Heavy truck occupants accounted for less than one in 5 of all deaths involving a heavy truck: the majority of deaths were light vehicle occupants (3 in 5 deaths) or vulnerable road users: pedestrians 10.5 per cent (up on 2016), motorcyclists at 8.5 per cent (marginally up) and pedal cyclists 3.6 per cent (down).
  • Over the decade, deaths from crashes involving any heavy truck decreased by 2.4 per cent per year. While deaths from crashes involving an articulated truck showed a decreasing trend, crashes involving a heavy rigid truck showed an increasing trend.
  • Approximately 490 heavy truck occupants are hospitalised from crashes each year (most are truck drivers) and 30 per cent of cases are categorised with High-threat-to-life injuries.
  • 30 people were killed in crashes involving buses in 2017. There was no clear trend over the decade, although an increase is apparent during the last five years.


Fatal crashes involving heavy vehicles, Australia, moving annual total with trend