The severity of car accident injuries sustained during a collision can vary based on many different factors.
The speed at which each vehicle is travelling, the angle and location of impact and how quickly aid is rendered can all be critical.
Another variable is the relative size of the vehicles. When a small vehicle like a passenger car is involved in an accident with a bigger one, such as a truck or a bus, those in the car can often come away with more serious injuries.
This is simply down to the forces involved and the differences in the protection provided by a large and a small chassis.
A recent nationwide operation to crack down on unsafe drivers and operators of heavy vehicles has seen over 30,000 motorists stopped by NSW Police over a four-week period.
Operation Austrans took place between May 20 and June 16, with officers across Australia and New Zealand targeting dangerous behaviour such as speeding, as well as driver fatigue and vehicle standards.
It is an annual undertaking aimed at promoting and ensuring the safety of heavy vehicles on the road, and that of all other vehicles by extension.
Assistant commissioner John Hartley of the Traffic and Highway Command said that during this year’s operations inspectors intercepted more than 1,000 vehicles a day in NSW, including articulated, rigid and B-double trucks, road trains, coaches and buses.
As a result, 305 drivers were caught speeding; 72 were found to be unlicensed, suspended or disqualified; 167 infringements were served for occupants not wearing seat belts; and 209 unregistered trucks were identified.
There were a further 172 vehicles found to have improperly restrained loads.
“These results are proof our efforts to create safer practices within the heavy vehicle industry through enforcement and education are having an impact,” said Mr Hartley in a July 3 statement.
And while those figures represent the negative side of the equation, there was also much to be encouraged about.
Roads and Maritime Services director of Customer and Compliance Peter Wells pointed out that despite 8,000 more trucks being stopped and checked this year, the number found to be exceeding their mass limit (512) was down from 2012 (551).
There has also been a 48 per cent decrease in heavy vehicle fatalities to date in 2013, compared to the same period last year.
“RMS will follow up on all compliance breaches to ensure Austrans and other operations carrie out during the year continue to improve safety for heavy vehicle drivers and all road users,” said Mr Wells.