Goodaye all. Yesterday the first of the Truckies Top Tips for sharing the road was released by the NHVR and is available on their website and on http://www.sharetheroad.net.au In 1999 I had one of those days when you wonder where a car driver, or two, got their license. I even stopped at a little town pending the third “things all come in threes” event and hoping it would not happen, to give it some thought.
I considered what I could do to try and prevent such events. We simply do not teach new drivers about sharing the road with trucks. We didn’t then and I am afraid we still don’t. As I drive cars as well as trucks, I have some understanding of both, but so many car drivers will never get the chance to either sit in a truck, or talk with a truckie, to understand our issues or point of view.
Therefore a car only driver, is unlikely to be aware of what it is like to drive a truck and without that opportunity, they may only learn of their mistake of jumping directly in front of a truck and then go, “Oh my God I should not have done that” just before the impact that may kill them. Then it is far too late.
So that day, has led to this group of videos, even recognising not every driver will see them, as much as I would like to see that happen. Even if it became a mandatory part of the licensing system (and that is what I would like to see) to watch these tips and then include in the test questions more about trucks, it will take years to get more people both educated and then to reduce the number of crashes, between trucks and cars.
When you consider that the vast majority of fatal crashes in Australia between cars and trucks, are the fault of the car driver and this is the same in the USA and was only recently recognised in Canada. I was amazed when they released the figures and virtually said, we did not know and what can be done to reduce this problem. They are going to do a study!
I will be happy to debate the figures with anyone and whilst there are figures ranging from 70% to over 90%, car at fault, you must all recognise statistics can be made to say whatever you want. The fact remains that the majority of those car/truck fatalities are caused by the car and we have done very little to this point to change that, at least from where I sit.
So I would ask you to share these videos, to talk about them with your friends, particularly with those who do not drive trucks and to those with children about to get their license. The worst that will happen is that you may give them some information they may not see any value in, or they may not recognise for its worth at the time. You might just save someone’s life. It is up to you. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.