Motorists asked to prioritise safety around trucks to drive down road trauma

As National Road Safety Week kicks off this year, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and the Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group are reminding drivers to prioritise safety behind the wheel, in a bid to drive down road trauma.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto OAM said National Road Safety Week serves as a crucial reminder for motorists to ensure they know how to safely share the road with heavy vehicles.

“Last year, we saw 1,272 lives lost in crashes on Australia’s roads – 187 of these lives were taken in crashes that involved a heavy vehicle,” Mr Petroccitto said.

“Behind these numbers are real people, whose loss is deeply felt by loved ones and their communities.

“This National Road Safety Week, the NHVR wants to prevent further tragedy on our roads, by sharing vital information about how to drive safely around heavy vehicles.”

The NHVR is reminding light vehicle drivers to:

  • Leave two lanes for trucks when they are turning: Truck drivers often need to take up more than one lane to turn at corners, intersections and roundabouts, so keep both lanes beside a truck free when it is turning.
  • Give trucks extra space: Trucks require longer braking distances and take a lot longer to slow down and stop than cars. When pulling in front of a truck, give them 3 to 4 times more space than you would give a car.
  • Avoid lingering in a trucks blind spot: Truck’s have larger blind spots than cars. When overtaking a truck, wait for a dedicated overtaking lane or long stretch of road where you have a clear view ahead, then indicate and overtake quickly to reduce the time you’re in a truck’s blind spot.

Mr Petroccitto said National Road Safety Week is also a timely reminder for truck drivers to ensure they are operating safely.

“NHVR on-road officers are always out and about, ready to support drivers with any questions they have regarding their compliance,” he said.

“I encourage any heavy vehicle driver to chat to our officers, to make sure their movements are safe and efficient.”

This year’s National Road Safety Week runs from 5-12 May. Now in its 11th year, the annual event was founded by Peter Frazer OAM, following the loss of his daughter Sarah in a preventable crash south of Sydney in 2012.

“Everyone has a right to get home safe to their loved ones … every day… no exceptions!” Mr Frazer said.

“Yet already this year, we have seen some devastating crashes on our roads and highways, resulting in the tragic loss of lives and serious injuries sustained by our fellow Australians.

“In 2023, more than 1,200 people were killed and over 40,000 were seriously injured… this continues to be a true pandemic, but we can change these numbers.

“So this year, and indeed every year, I ask drivers to make a commitment to protect every life by driving as if their loved ones are on the road ahead, by taking the pledge to ‘drive so others survive.’

“Road safety starts at a local level, which is captured in this year’s theme of ‘All road safety is local’.

“National Road Safety Week is about bringing communities together, tackling road trauma and shaping the future of our roads by working to collectively change attitudes and behaviours.

“Let’s hold each other accountable and ensure every journey ends safely.”

Coinciding with National Road Safety Week, the NHVR is launching its Heavy Vehicle Industry Safety Survey on 7 May.

The survey results will assist the NHVR to improve support for industry through information, education, and safety initiatives.

Everyone involved in the heavy vehicle industry, including loaders and schedulers, may participate in the survey from 7 May onwards by accessing it here:

For more information on National Road Safety Week visit