Safety Alert – Improve truck visibility to reduce accidents

  • Date: 21 Aug 2016
  • Categories: WH&S

Installing reflective tape on trucks to improve their visibility could reduce some types of accidents between trucks and cars by up to 44 percent, the Australian Trucking Association’s Senior Engineering Adviser, Chris Loose, said last week.

Mr Loose was releasing the ATA’s updated Technical Advisory Procedure on heavy vehicle visibility, which includes guidance on best practice for placing and applying retroreflective tape to trucks.

The advisory procedure was developed by the ATA’s Industry Technical Council.

“Without high visibility markings the risk of an accident between a truck and a car is 30 times greater. A truck with outline reflective markings can be recognised much earlier, allowing more time for drivers to manoeuvre safely,” Mr Loose said.

“In both the United States and Europe, the installation of retroreflective tape has resulted in major reductions in accidents, including side and rear impacts and reducing accidents in poor lighting conditions.

“With about 30 percent of Australian multi vehicle crashes occurring at dusk and overnight when traffic is lightest but visibility is critical, retroreflective tape on trucks is a vital safety issue.”

The updated advisory procedure includes extensive technical advice on the placement of contour markings with retroreflective tape, key material and dimensional requirements, cost estimates and applicability to vehicle types.

The Technical Advisory Procedure makes it clear that US style red/white block stripe markings are not legal in Australia.

Mr Loose said the document also provided specific advice on application for different truck types.

“The ATA’s updated technical advisory procedure provides in-depth guidance on key dimensional requirements and the placement of either full, partial, or stripe markings,” Mr Loose said.

“As illustrated in the application examples, this demonstrates that installation of retroreflective tape is possible across the wide variety of trucks that are on our roads.”

This is the latest in the ATA’s series of technical advisory procedures, which provide best practice guidance for trucking operators, maintainers and suppliers about key technical issues.

Read the visibility procedure here