Overtaking a road train can be a dangerous business

Published: July 1, 2015

The potential perils of overtaking manoeuvres involving road trains and caravans has been highlighted once again … fortunately without fatal consequences.

Over the weekend, two people were lucky to escape with their lives after their vehicle slid under a road train after clipping a caravan which was overtaking the road train at the same time.

The incident happened on the Stuart Highway near Hayes Creek, 150 kilometres south of Darwin.

Police said the vehicle which crashed was overtaking a four-wheel drive towing a caravan, which was in turn overtaking the road train, with all three vehicles travelling in a row.

Superintendent Brendan Muldoon from NT Police told the ABC that the vehicle was allegedly overtaking on an unbroken white line on a right hand bend when it clipped the caravan and slid under the road train.

A man and a woman were trapped inside the car and needed to be cut from the vehicle.

“The female has broken legs, a broken pelvis and a possible broken shoulder,” Superintendent Muldoon told the ABC.

The man had lower back pain.

After the impact the car’s engine was flung into nearby grass and started a small grass fire.

Overtaking is one of the times when the accident likelihood is at its greatest. A month or so ago, a caravanning couple were exceptionally lucky to escape uninjured after their caravan flipped in Victoria. The tailwind from the rear of the truck they were passing is believed to have caused the caravan to swerve from side to side across the road before it flipped.

  • How careful are you when overtaking trucks? Have you ever had your van ‘snake’? Comment below.
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7 years ago

I am sure that this road was not a 4 lane M1 highway. How bloody stupid to engage in a stunt like this.

7 years ago
Reply to  John

John I thought that too at first but then read it again and I’m thinking the red car was following behind the caravan as it was overtaking.

John Lane
7 years ago

We are on the Road most times and we see not only Caravan’s traveling to close to Truck’s or driving to slow,when a Road Train come’s up behind us we call him or her on the CB and discuss what is the best and safest way to pass

7 years ago

I very seldom overtake a road train they overtake me, I get on the radio when one is behind and get him to nominate when he wants to overtake and I slow down so he can get back as quickly as possible. I am there for the experience not the race between caravan and road train.


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