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Road Safety Week - New figures show HGVs seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash, double that of ten years ago.

New figures show that heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) are now twice as likely to be involved in a fatal collision on certain roads than they were ten years ago, highlighting the need to reduce the number of trucks on the roads say campaigners.

Campaign for Better Transport has compiled figures for the last ten years which show that in 2007 HGVs were three and a half times as likely as cars to be involved in a fatal collision on minor roads, despite making up only five per cent of overall traffic. However, last year’s (2016) figures show that this had doubled, with HGVs almost seven times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than cars.

The figures show the involvement of HGVs in fatal crashes compared to all other vehicles on motorways, A roads and minor roads for the last ten years. They reveal little or no improvement in the rates of fatal collisions involving HGVs on motorways and A roads, and in the case of minor roads, HGVs involvement has doubled making them seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than cars.

Philippa Edmunds, from Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Despite making up a small percentage of overall traffic, HGVs are involved in an unacceptably high number of fatal road traffic collisions and these figures show things are not improving. Whilst cars are getting safer, HGVs continue to be extremely dangerous in a collision. There are far too many large, heavy lorries on roads which are often totally unsuitable for them, as the high rate of crashes on minor roads shows.

“We need to see less HGVs on the roads and move more freight by rail. Just one freight train can remove up to 136 HGVs from our roads. Moving more freight by rail has environmental benefits, can help relieve congestion and, as these figures show, would help save lives.”

The figures have been released during national Road Safety Week (20-26 November). Jason Wakeford, Director of Campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "The combination of rural roads - statistically the most dangerous - and HGVs can be lethal. These figures paint a worrying picture and underline the need to move more freight from road to rail, increasing safety as well as cutting carbon emissions."

 
Notes to Editors

1. Brake’s Road Safety Week runs from 20 to 26 November. You can find out more about the week via their website.

2. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).

3. Freight on Rail is a partnership of the transport trade unions, the rail freight industry and Campaign for Better Transport

4. Figures quoted are below. You can see the full ten year data here.

Graph showing percentages of HGVs involved in fatalities

HGV traffic and fatal accidents by road type 2007

Traffic in billion veh kms

HGV traffic

All motorised traffic

HGV % of all traffic

% fatalities involving at least 1 HGV

Ratio of HGV to all motor vehicles

Motorway

12.1

99.2

12.2

41.0

336.0%

A

13.3

226

5.9

17.2

292.2%

Minor

3.7

181.1

2.0

7.2

352.6%

Source: TSGB 2007, Goods Vehicle Statistics 2007, Goods Vehicle Accidents and Casualties 2007, all Department for Transport

HGV traffic and fatal accidents by road type 2016

Traffic in billion veh kms

HGV traffic

All motorised traffic

HGV % of all traffic

% fatalities involving at least 1 HGV

Ratio of HGV to all motor vehicles

Motorway

12.4

109.2

11.4

33.3

292%

A

12.2

231.5

5.3

17.0

320%

Minor

2.3

180.3

1.3

8.9

685%

Source: Traffic statistics table TRA0104, Accident statistics Table RAS 30017, both Department for Transport.

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