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Heavy vehicle road safety: A scan of recent literature.
The number of registered heavy vehicles (HV) in Australia has risen by 22% since 2005 and, with the national freight task projected to double by 2030, the number of HVs on Australian roads will continue to increase. In the 12 months to the end of June 2010 crashes involving heavy vehicles resulted in 239 fatalities and around one third of all work-related road crash fatalities occur within the freight industry. Heavy vehicle safety for both the trucking industry and the general community remains an important issue. In recognition of this the Australian Trucking Association commissioned the Centre for Automotive Safety Research to undertake a research scan to develop a knowledge base that may be used to guide the strategic direction and development of effective outcomes in the area of heavy vehicle safety. The scan focussed on five key areas: factors associated with HV crashes, road and vehicle design, human and social factors, speed management and enforcement, and the effectiveness of accreditation schemes. Gaps in knowledge were identified and recommendations for future research in the areas of fatigue, seatbelt use, traffic management, and technology are suggested.