'Give Them Space' Truckies Plea With Aussie Drivers
The trucking industry is pleading with drivers to watch out for heavy vehicles during the busy festive season.
New research suggests most fatal crashes involving trucks across the country, are caused by cars and are avoidable.
Australia's biggest truck insurer deals with more than 13,000 crash claims every year - and they're pointing an accusing finger at other drivers.
"Give them space, give them time, give them respect when you're near them," Tony Clark, CEO of National Transport Insurance told 10 News First.
"We know there is often a negative public perception when it comes to truck safety and accidents however this data tells a different story. It's important to remember trucks are the lifeblood of Australia," Mr Clark said.
A hundred and sixty-nine people were killed in crashes involving trucks in the past year, and of those accidents, NTI suggests cars are to blame 93 percent of the time.
"The better informed we are about the causes of the problems, the better we can work with industry and good operators to solve them,' Ray Hassall from National Heavy Vehicle Regulator told 10 News First.
Queensland truck driver Norm Braun said the roads are often erratic, not only just at Christmas.
"People don't seem to have any patience anymore, they're trying to get to where they need to go too quickly," Mr Braun said.
A fellow truck driver, Daryl Dickenson said he had a near miss just yesterday and that's not uncommon.
"I'd say anyone doing any distance would probably see one a day," Mr Dickenson told 10.
He added that people are too careless in trying to overtake, and suggested drivers should be decisive if they do plan to overtake a truck on the roads.
"There's that much going on in the truck, if they're down on the sides there you don't see they are there and that's a super dangerous spot to be," Mr Dickenson said.
Over the next week, the industry is reminding drivers there will be more trucks on the road than usual.
"We'll be out on the road all day every day and we just want to make sure everyone gets home safe for Christmas," Mr Braun told reporters.