Vehicle rollaway is a regular occurrence in the heavy  vehicle industry. Many people involved in rollaway incidents receive serious and sometimes fatal injuries, plus damage can be caused to infrastructure, homes and other vehicles. Incidents involving uncontrolled vehicle movement are not limited to one vehicle type – they occur with any vehicle, from passenger cars, trucks and buses to forklifts, tractors and earth moving equipment (Safe Work Australia, 2014).

A Daily Occurrence

Heavy vehicle rollaways are relatively common. On average, there is an incident every day and there will be an incident every week that requires emergency services, according to anecdotal evidence from the Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association (ARTSA, 2018).

There are significant risks of injury and fatality for both vehicle operators and the general population when a vehicle rollaway occurs, as well as potential damage to infrastructure, homes and other vehicles (Noble, Frampton & Richardson, 2019). In the United States, for example, death and injury numbers published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 142 people were killed and 2,000 injured due to vehicle rollaways in 2015 (NHTSA, 2018). This represented almost one in five (17%) of all non-traffic deaths and injuries
that year.

In Australia, serious and fatal injuries are recorded each year due to incidents involving vehicle rollaways. Two recent
examples in New South Wales (NSW) are provided below (Safe Work NSW, 2017).