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Distraction, inattention major cause of truck incidents: NTI

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Driver inattention or distraction caused 39% of major truck incidents last year, up from 29.6% in 2017, according to the latest study from NTI’s National Truck Accident Research Centre.

Fatigue remains the single largest cause of truck driver deaths, with 34.8% of fatalities the result of tiredness, followed by inattention or distraction at 30.4%, the biennial study says.

The study is based on 848 incidents last year where at least one vehicle involved is insured with NTI and resulted in claims of over $50,000.

In serious incidents where a car is involved, about 80% of it has been found to be the fault of the car driver.

NTI has described the statistic as “startling” and called for more caution as road usage picks up following the easing of virus lockdown measures.

“We had been on a downward trend of heavy vehicle-related deaths and had hoped to hit zero within the next decade, but tragically, last year we saw more loss of life, not just for truckies but all road users,” CEO Tony Clark said.

“The report found the number of truck driver deaths caused by distraction more than doubled in the past two years.

“Another worrying trend we saw was that 82% of the crashes involving truck drivers aged 25 years and under were caused by distraction.”

NTI says it will start to produce the study annually instead of every two years.

Click here for the report.