It’s no surprise that heavy vehicles feature frequently in road accident statistics considering their large mass. In recent years, deaths from crashes involving trucks have made up around 20% of the total road toll in New Zealand, while only 6% of the total distance travelled is by truck.
According to NZI’s national commercial and fleet motor manager, Oliver Jepson, it’s often not a truck driver at fault, but these crashes can be hugely traumatic for them because of the damage they can do with their vehicle.
“The focus is always on preventing accidents in the first place but there is still a lot that we need to consider when the worst happens.”
This is one of the reasons why NZI has a crash scene assistance service to take away the stress of the aftermath.
“It’s crucial truck drivers have access to the right people immediately after a crash to get them out of harm’s way and take care of the clean-up, so drivers can focus solely on getting the emotional support they often need,” Jepso said.
There is an automatic response hotline (0800 11 11 08) that truck drivers can call immediately after an accident, and the crash assistance team will manage the rest.
The line is staffed by experienced operators who understand the needs of a heavy transport crash scene.
“As well as salvaging your vehicle, we’ll take care of any road clean-up, environmental issues, and driver support that’s needed,” Jepson said.
The NZI team set up a demonstration crash scene in Mosgiel recently to show brokers and customers how the service works.
They also showed how the use of air-filled catch bags soften the landing of a truck being righted, preventing any further damage.
“With our catch bag technology, we’re able to clear a crash scene safely but also more efficiently, minimising traffic disruption,” Jepson said.
Jepson said it was important all brokers made sure their clients had this hotline number on their phones so the NZI Crash Scene Assistance team could be there for them when needed.
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