The most effective risk management strategies, including monitoring fatigue and encouraging driver input into safety decisions and risk assessments, translate into on-the-ground safety improvements that also improve a business’ bottom line, particularly by reducing insurance costs.

Recent research identified several safety management characteristics that showed clear evidence of efficacy in safety management in trucking operations. New research compared those characteristics against risk management factors included in the risk assessment process adopted by a major truck insurer.

The result is a list of safety management practices that have been shown to improve safety performance. These characteristics, which have also driven such bottom line benefits as lower insurance costs, can help transport operators refine their risk assessment and risk management processes.

Key findings

Supported by road safety regulators and a major transport insurer, the original empirical research was in response to the heavy vehicle transport sector being over-represented in vehicle incidents and crashes.

The major research project, led by Dr. Lori Mooren, a global authority on road safety from the Transport and Road Safety Research Centre at UNSW, involved assessing the research evidence, surveying 50 Australian companies that operated heavy vehicles and completing further investigation of 15 of those companies. The research identified many common characteristics across three areas: risk assessment and management, driver risk management, and safety culture.