Fatal road collisions increasingly involve LCVs, research finds

Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2024   |   Author: Sean Keywood

An increasing number of fatal collisions on UK roads involve an LCV, according to a new report.

‘Commercial vehicle safety on strategic road network’, features analysis based on figures from the National Highways Fatality Research Database, which collates information from police investigation files on fatal collisions. It currently holds details of around 1,000 incidents which have occurred since 2014, including information regarding vehicle types, casualties, and road environments.

The report reveals that, in 2014, 19 out of 160 collisions covered involved an LCV. However, by 2019 – the most recent year for which full data is available – this had increased to 33 out of 145 collisions.

Other findings from the report include that 70% of recorded LCV crashes occurred on dual carriageways, and that the most common time during the day for them to occur was between 12pm and 3pm.

When LCVs were involved in a crash, 60% of the time their first point of contact was a frontal impact. Most commonly they collided with a car, though this was only slightly more common than a collision with an HGV.

The report reveals that 99% of the recorded LCV collisions involved some form of driver-related factor as a cause, with 19% in some way road related, and 7% in some way vehicle related.

The most common driver-related factor was inattention, which was noted in 25% of collisions, followed by distraction (16%), impairment (13%), fatigue (13%), and speeding (12%).

The report also reveals that 12% of the occupants of LCVs involved in collisions were not wearing a seatbelt at the time.

The report was launched at a National Highways safety conference entitled “Vehicles don’t crash – people do’.

Presenting the report, National Highways head of national road user safety delivery Matt Staton said the top five counter measures for reducing commercial fleet risk included making sure distraction monitoring, autonomus emergency braking, and driver temporary hazard alerts were fitted to vehicles and used properly, and carrying out training to improve drivers’ hazard perception.

He also advised fleet operators to consider how they can reduce in-vehicle distractions, saying: “That comes back to company policy. Do you expect drivers to answer calls on the road? 

“That’s something that we have control over. We can choose whether we ring that person or not when we know they’re driving.”



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