1 December 2022 · Driving Hints & Tips

Driving Towards a Safer New Year

Driving Towards a Safer New Year

Staying Safe on the Road this Holiday Season

As Christmas approaches, we descend into the inevitable end-of-year rush, when safety can become a second priority for workers as we try to finish the growing list of jobs before businesses close for the holidays. 

This increased work demand and pressure, paired with the spike in holiday traffic, can lead to tragedy on Australian roads during the Holiday period.

“At this time of year, you’re going to be sharing the road with A LOT more vehicles than you would typically. And whether you like it or not, all this congestion will undoubtedly lead to longer journey times and, often, frustration.” – Drive Risk 

Regardless of whether you’re the safest driver in the world, the people and vehicles around you, and the scenarios you can’t control can cause even the most alert drivers to have accidents on the road. This is why all the Hino trucks we sell are fitted with Hino SmartSafe, an extensive suite of driver-assist technologies that focus on protecting the driver, passengers and other road users.

Driver Error

Inappropriate speed and driver error crashes continue to be of serious concern, with over half of all large loss incidents in the last few years caused by these two factors alone. The roads are getting busier as the demand for overnight delivery increases. In the last decade, the number of trucks on the road and the volume of freight that they’re carrying have increased by over 50%.

Usually, the truck driver is not at fault; over 75% of fatal crashes involving a truck and car, the car was the at-fault party - NTI road report. When in a rush, car users can act differently around trucks, often racing to get in front of you or not letting you merge, afraid you might slow them down. The bigger the truck, the longer it needs to stop, and when cars pull out in front of 30 tonnes of momentum, it doesn't always end well.

Are you driving to the conditions? 

“Just because the speed limit is 100 km/h doesn’t necessarily mean that this speed is safe. Particularly in holiday traffic, it’s important to read the road and weather conditions and adjust your driving behaviours accordingly. For instance, if you’re being forced to stop frequently, reduce your speed and increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front.”– Driver Risk

Over the years, the most serious incidents have occurred when the truck has rolled, this normally occurs when not preparing properly for an oncoming corner. Hino SmartSafe addresses this issue with Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). This feature was designed to help drivers maintain vehicle control by monitoring the wheel rotation speed, steering angle and works with the ABS to apply braking pressure to help control the vehicle and prevent the truck from rolling over or sliding. 

Driver Fatigue 

Fatigue crashes are still on the long-term decline as technology improves and new government rules are put in place to protect road users.

Transport NSW states the best way to avoid driving tired is to make sure you have enough sleep before driving, regardless of the length of your trip. Drivers and motorcyclists can avoid fatigue crashes by recognising the early warning signs:

  • Yawning
  • Poor concentration
  • Sore/tired eyes
  • Restlessness
  • Drowsiness
  • Slow reactions
  • Boredom
  • Oversteering

Our Hino trucks come with Hino SmartSafe, which includes the Driver Monitoring System - a camera in the ‘A’ pillar that focuses on the driver and recognises if they are fatigued or losing concentration. Most importantly, it alerts the driver and notifies their dispatch. 

In vehicles with Hino Connect, your dispatch officer can contact the driver directly with custom messaging, instructing the driver to stop for a rest or even control the radio if they need to alert the driver.

Inattention or Driver Distraction

In 2022, there are more distractions than ever. The ability to instantly communicate worldwide, use voice-activated technology, mobile phones always within arm’s reach and listening devices all lead to increased road accident statistics. 15% of large loss crashes are attributed to inattention or distraction, making it the cause of more large losses than fatigue and mechanical failure combined. 

The distractions extend beyond just being on the phone or a lapse in concentration; things like driving with inappropriate footwear or eating behind the wheel can also cause you to take your eyes off the road for a split second, and that is all it takes. Inadequate following distance caused nearly one in ten large loss crashes in 2020. 

With Hino SmartSafe, if you start to drift lanes or brake late, the Pre-Collision System and Lane Departure Warning System will automatically kick in, braking for you and ensuring that you remain in your lane. 

The Hino Advantage

Here at Southern Truck Centre, we pride ourselves on providing trucks that are engineered to protect drivers, passengers, and other road users. Hino SmartSafe comes standard throughout the light, medium and heavy-duty model ranges, and the 700 Series, the most heavy-duty truck we offer, boasts the most comprehensive safety package ever offered in a Hino truck.

Hino SmartSafe suite consists of: 

Driver Monitoring

Provides constant monitoring of the driver’s attention towards the road using a camera integrated into the A-pillar to detect driving posture, face orientation, and eyelid status.

Pre-Collision System

Radar and image sensors detect the possibility of a collision with a vehicle in front and warns the driver to apply the brakes. If the driver does not respond the truck can brake autonomously.

Electronic Braking

Detects the possibility of a collision to warn the driver to apply the brakes using both visual and audible alerts. If the collision is imminent, it can autonomously apply the brakes.

Vehicle Stability Control

Designed to help drivers maintain vehicle control and help prevent the truck from rolling over or sliding when entering or exiting a corner too fast.

Lane Departure Warning System

Alerts the driver both visually and audibly if the vehicle deviates from its lane without the turn indicators being engaged by the driver.

Pedestrian Detection

Detects the possibility of a collision to warn the driver to apply the brakes using both visual and audible alerts. If the collision is imminent, it can autonomously apply the brakes.

To find out more about how Hino SmartSafe can help prevent on-road incidents, visit us at www.southerntruckhino.com.au or call us on 02 62996433. We’re always up for a chat, especially when it’s about staying safe.

A lot of road safety can come down to common sense – it has been drummed into us since learning to drive. Remember to slow down, be aware of your surroundings, drive to the conditions, recognise the signs of driver fatigue and distractions, and ensure your truck has the adequate safety features and technology to help protect you, and other road users. When something goes wrong, it can go very wrong, and arriving late is better than not arriving at all. From all of us at Southern Truck Centre, stay safe on the road this Christmas, and we can’t wait to see you in the new year.