No serious injuries in yet another bad caravan crash

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caravan rollover
The caravan ended up on its roof, and the 4WD ended up in the ditch. PIC: WIN News

The recent spate of awful caravan rollovers and collisions has continued with the latest smash on the Bruce Highway likely to lead to yet more calls for further action to end the carnage.

In the accident late on Friday afternoon, a four wheel drive and caravan flipped  near Yaamba north of the Queensland town of Rockhampton.

No other vehicle was involved in the incident, which caused the 4WD to catch on fire and fuel to be spilled on the road.

Miraculously, the two occupants escaped relatively unscathed, with Queensland Ambulance transporting them both to Rockhampton hospital, one simply as a precaution and the other experiencing shoulder pain.

The highway was closed for some time as fuel was cleaned off the road and the badly damaged four-wheel-drive was removed from the ditch.

Earlier last week, two separate accidents involving caravanners led to three deaths.

In the first of those incidents,  two people died and two others were airlifted to hospital when a car towing a caravan rolled on the Oxley Highway about 45 kilometres from Walcha in New South Wales.

A few days later, a woman was killed and a man seriously injured in a crash between a truck and a car towing a caravan just south of Bordertown in South Australia. The car’s passenger, a 74-year-old woman, died at the scene while the driver, a 77-year-old man from New South Wales, was flown to hospital in Adelaide with serious but not life-threatening injuries. The truck driver suffered minor injuries and shock.

While the cause of all of these accidents are still being investigated, the sheer number of recent caravan collisions is sure to spark renewed calls for more to be done to reduce the toll … although opinion will be divided on what exactly can – and should – be done.

Following the recent accident in South Australia, RAA traffic engineer Matthew said it was a matter of fact that motorists towing caravans faced extra hazards than other drivers.

“A vehicle’s performance characteristics are vastly different when towing a caravan with braking, acceleration and cornering all impacted,” he said. “Even travelling in a straight path requires extra attention due to the impact of cross winds on the caravan.”

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25 Responses to No serious injuries in yet another bad caravan crash

  1. Have been wondering for some time could ESC be a contributing factor when this is applied automatically the driver may over correct what they think is a problem??

    • If you were a truck driver good,if not all people towing a van should have a heavy licence or caravan towing test.to many van owners have no idea on there weight . Think about it and should have restricted speed

      • Germany and most European countries have a speed limit of 80 km for vehicles with a GVWR of 3,500 kg. Having driven and towed caravans in Europe I have never experienced the dangerous air compression effect caused by speeding large trucks and B doubles like it constantly happen here on our double lane Hwy’s & Fwy’s. The jury is still out, but I would not be surprised to find that the left sideward push caused by air compression to be a mayor factor for road accidents involving caravans. A speed limit like that in Europe would fix that and safe lives. What’s the hurry anyway? Dying on the road and/or losing loved ones is not what caravanning ought to be.

  2. My question is how many cars and trucks were involved in traffic accidents in this same period of time, yet it appears only ones involving caravans are highlited.

    • That’s because the article was only reporting on caravan accidents in a short period of time.

  3. I am sure statistically there are no more than other unintended accident. As a ex Caravan Park owner we encountered several roll overs regarding our clients over the years. We did notice however that a lot of people towed with under powered vehicles, or an incompetent driver. It was very concerning for us to know they were on the road.I am not focusing on age more on common sense and safety. We all know accidents are caused by a myriad of reasons. Please just be mindful of your ability and your choice of transport. Happy Caravaning.

  4. This is the Grey Nomad (traveler) website…that’s why caravan incidents are highlighted on this site, because that’s one of the issues that this site is about.

    “Whether you are travelling in a caravan, motorhome, campervan, camper trailer, fifth wheeler or a tent, this site is the place to read about people like yourselves … and about the issues affecting the grey nomad lifestyle in Australia.”

    You can get lots of road traffic accident information elsewhere, eg https://bitre.gov.au/statistics/safety/

    ..and I can’t see accidents involving caravans being reported anymore prominently than other serious accidents on that website…but you will find caravan accidents highlighted on this website, because many of us who use this website are “grey nomads” and many of us have caravans. But I guess your point being, that there are many other accidents happening on our roads, and caravans make up a small proportion of the total road crash statistics. Drive safely everyone.

  5. It may be that there are no more or less caravan accidents than other types of vehicles, nevertheless it is important to understand why there are any. If the accidents that are demonstrably the fault of another vehicle are removed from the list then it comes down to what are the causes. Without any real evidence other than personal observation there seems to be a large number of overloaded vehicle/caravan combinations that appear unstable and also a lot of caravans with boxes and other gear attached to the rear of the van contributing to instability.
    I don’t think the demographic is important as motorhomes don’t seem to have the same problems, rather it is the ability of the driver to understand load placement, load limits, and appropriate towing speeds.
    The number of twitchy vans i see doing a 110kmh on the motorway is frightening.

  6. I agree that due to this site being a caravan related sight we get lots of these reports try going on a truck/ transport site and there would be four or five a day it’s relatively just more about the sites items

  7. Yes every word that B said is correct, and now that there are more and more caravans sold and on the road of course there are going to be more accidents.Simple logic,we all have to take a little more care Every accident reported lately was with another vehicle, so we could look at the case from the other say A lot of trucks involved’ Statics can be taken anyway. Just stay safe. Stevo.

  8. I recently fell asleep towing, driving tired so I can imagine a large proportion of accidents from this. Normal speed and normal driving habits should not cause accidents. Yes of course there are other reasons but I have experienced this so am now very aware. 58 year old healthy male.

    • This happened to me, driving from Kununurra to Fitzroy Crossing, there was no where where you could pull over to rest.

  9. I wonder if the increasing size of the caravans is an issue in all the accidents in relation to the size of the vehicle that is doing the towing.

  10. Stories like these are too sketchy to really assess what was the cause. But, having been on the road for most of last year, and having been more aware of the towed vehicles around us for longer than that, as we planned our traveling life, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that speed was a strong contributing factor.
    I’m always amazed when I see caravans and motorhomes being driven at such speed that they often pass us when we aren’t towing and are traveling at the speed limit.
    I’m also amazed at how many people rebel against any suggestion that towed vehicles be driven at anything less than the maximum speed limit, even in the face of evidence that lower speeds increase safety, as well as fuel economy. Too many drivers forget that the speed limit is the maximum speed you’re allowed to go, not the minimum speed speed you must maintain.
    In many areas, large commercial vehicles have a lower speed limit than smaller cars and trucks, in acknowledgement that these vehicles have greater stopping distances, handle differently at speed and are more dangerous to everyone.
    I truly hope that one of the outcomes from any investigation into improving towing safety will include a reduced speed limit for all vehicles towing trailers and caravans, as well as all motor homes.

  11. Having been on the road since boxing day and travelled from Perth to now South east Queensland, not one caravan accident and we have seen many many Van’s in our travels. I firmly believe it is driver error and given the millions of kilometres travelled each year, the accident rate for Van’s is quite low

  12. We driver at 80 – 90 klms, and I can tell you that we very rarely pass a caravan. However caravans by the numbers pass us.
    Why are so many caravan drivers in a hurry to get to their destination??
    Many may say that my driving habits are a menace to other road users.
    So be it, but I am in control of perhaps a most lethal weapon, a motor vehicle, so one has to respect same. A speed limit sign indicates the maximum speed one can travel at. Maximum being the operative word.
    Safe travels every one.

    • I agree with you John. I was complemented by a truckie yesterday on our way from Busselton to Perth. We were on the dual road north of Bunbury and a road train passed me. He called back to his mate that he wished all caravans travelled at a safe speed like the one he just passed. I spoke to him and he reckons there are many caravanners that shouldn’t be towing because they travel too fast. Speed limit for vans here in the West is 100km/h. I travel at 90km/h to give the rucks a chance to get past as they are limited to 103km/h. I drove coaches and trucks until I retired in late 2014 and have owned a caravan since 1988.

    • I was doing a right hand turn to the eighty mile beach with indicator’s on, and slowed to do the turn, and I was over taken by vehicle towing a caravan, if I did not use my right side mirror, we would be in real trouble.

  13. I for one don’t go over 90kmh when towing and feel safe that way. Remember, there is just a 2″ steel ball between the van and tow vehicle. Yes there are chains etc but they only help really. I would rather slow traffic down while they are behind me than block the road for many hours because something when wrong. Best thing the law makers can do is introduce a lower max speed when towing, anything. SLOW DOWN!

  14. As an ex Interstate Truckie i do appericate and understand the importance of load distribution and road speed. Before heading off each morning a walk around safety check is a must. Tyre pressure, wheel nut tension, lights (clearance, Brake, indicators) tug test to check caravan brakes are working. All external fitting are secured and locked down. Whilst the better half does the internal check , windows, drawers, over head cabinets, secured and locked, a place for everything and everything in its place. A nice cuppa, good frame of mind, love and appericate what a great country we have here in Australia and drive to the conditions. NOT THE SPEED LIMIT….

  15. You can crucify me for this comment but my husband has always said, Nobody can drive a motorbike or a truck without the correct license and training and yet anyone can hook up a caravan and head off. He tows for a living and believes that every person who tows should have an endorsement on their license. They must be able to reverse, they must be aware of weight distribution, wind resistance and the dangers of overcorrection. We travelled in Sept last year and saw three vehicles with vans upside down beside the road, no other vehicles were involved so it was either driver error or equipment failure.

    • Could not possibly be more correct hope some of the powers that be read this & take notice.

    • Totally agree and I accept that not everyone will. Should need a test to be licensed to drive what is effectively a long heavy load. There are so many different variables with a 4wd / van that could weigh up to 7t loaded than popping down the shop at home in your 1.2cyl sedan.

    • Totally agree Danielle. I accept that not everyone will. Should need a test to be licensed to drive what is effectively a long heavy load. There are so many different variables with a 4wd / van that could weigh up to 7t loaded than popping down the shop at home in your 1.2cyl sedan.

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