Safety in road freight transportation represents a long standing public health problem. Despite acknowledgement of the challenging working conditions, investigations of heavy vehicle crashes have primarily adopted a reductionist approach focussed on identifying unsafe driver behaviours. In this study, a systems theory-based approach, Rasmussens’s (1997) risk management framework and associated Accimap technique, is applied to the analysis of road freight transportation crashes. The results demonstrate how a systems approach can increase knowledge in this safety critical domain, while the findings can be used to guide prevention efforts and the development of system-based investigation processes for the heavy vehicle industry. A research agenda for developing an investigation technique to better support the application of the Accimap technique by practitioners in road freight transportation industry is proposed.