Over the past decade there has been an increase in the number of heavy goods vehicles being used on UK roads for transportation. Government statistics show HGV use has increased from 46% to 72% in general, with larger articulated vehicle use up from 83% to 95% (1996 vs 2016).
With even more HGV's on our roads than ever before, should the government be doing more to help prevent accidents?
At Chapter8 Shop, we believe accidents could be reduced with new legislation requiring all HGV's to add reflective chevrons, like the current Chapter 8 guidance for vehicles stopping on high speed roads. Increasing the visibility of these vehicles could help reduce the number of incidents involving HGV's not only on motorways, but also on minor roads.
Current legislation only requires HGV's to add conspicuity markings to outline the shape of the vehicle on the rear and a horizontal line marking the length of the vehicle on the side. As a company that deals with professional road users on a daily basis, we constantly hear stories and complaints regarding HGV’s and their visibility especially at night.
Total reported fatalities on the roads of Great Britain stood at 1,792 deaths during 2016, which is an increase of 4% when compared to 2015. HGV's were involved in 9% of accidents where a fatality occurred, which as a percentage has remained roughly the same over the past 10 years.
According to the Department of Transport figures, during 2016 5,819 accidents involved heavy goods vehicles, resulting in 1,230 fatalities or serious injuries with 396 of these accidents due to external factors that affected vision.
Chapter 8 legislation already applies to smaller vehicles that stop on high speed roads. Isn't it about time to have similar legislation for heavy goods vehicles to make them more visible on our roads at night? Let us know what you think.