Statistics Soar For Lorry Crashes: How Can They Be Made Safer

Posted on 30 Jan 2018 by The Manufacturer

Back in 2013, 6,092 HGV crashes occurred on the UK’s roads, and since then, that number has continued to rise.

Lorry crashes are on the increase. Image courtesy of Highway Patrol Images
Lorry crashes are on the increase. Image courtesy of Highway Patrol Images

This number equates to nearly six HGV crashes a day – that’s a lot of accidents to have for just one vehicle group. Studies show that in one out of five fatal crashes on A roads, HGVs are involved. In addition to being five times as likely to be involved in a fatal accident on the motorway than any other vehicle.

It is clear that HGVs are not the safest vehicles in the world. They cause a large number of accidents per year, a high percentage of which are fatal. The issue is that HGVs are not that safe, in fact of all the vehicle types, they are the least safe to drive. However, the reality is that there is potential to make them safer, it’s just a case of some changes being made to the design of these vehicles.

All lorries need cameras

A recent study has shown that only one out of every three lorries have cameras on them. However, if more lorries have cameras fitted onto the back of them, giving drivers a clear view of what’s behind them and to the side of them, the rates of accidents including HGVs could be significantly reduced. Often, the cause of accidents involving lorries is due to the driver not having a clear enough view of what is going on around them. That is why this concept has the potential to be so significant.

Wheels must be made safer

It is not always obvious when a HGV is in need of maintenance work. However, there should be stricter rules in place regarding this, ensuring that all lorries undergo quarterly safety checks that take into account problems like loose wheels. Of course, gadgets like a wheel nut indicator and retainer that indicates when a wheel nut is coming loose, which could lead to the loss of a wheel, are useful in this instance. However, it’s not just wheels that pose a problem; it’s many areas of HGV design.

Extra windows

A new study looking at HGV safety in relation to cyclists and cyclist injuries has suggested a change in the design and manufacturing process or HGV creation. The concept that has been suggested is that all lorries should have an additional side window that can be used to look out of and see what is to the side of the vehicle more easily. The danger caused by lorries on the roads is unacceptable, particularly when you consider the number of accidents that these vehicles are involved in. That is why the manufacturing and design process of HGVs has come into question, with a selection of significant changes recommended.

As statistics soar for lorry crashes, the question of how these vehicles can be made safer becomes a priority. Not only are lorries involved in the highest number of fatal crashes on UK roads, but they also pose a high risk to cyclists and various other road users.