According to recent figures nearly 1,100 motorway crashes last year involved foreign HGVs, an increase of 14% when compared to figures from 2012. Across all road types the figures are estimated to be around 3,100, which is nearly 9 accidents involving foreign HGVs every day.
Figures which have been released by insurance companies suggest that lorries from Poland were involved in the highest number of accidents with 15.7%, followed by lorries from Germany 13.1%, Spain 6.1%, France and then the Netherlands. This isn’t a shock as Poland lead the way in international haulage figures so they would have a larger proportion of HGVs on the roads than any other EU country.
No surprises that the M25 was the location for the highest number of accidents, followed by the M6 and M11. City and town centre locations represented over one third of the total amount of accidents.
The figures show us that one in three collisions involving foreign lorries take place on the motorway, which is worrying as the motorways are considered the safest roads to travel on in the UK. Typically just 4% of road accidents take place on the motorways.
The data, which comes from ‘Accident Exchange’ who arrange replacement vehicles for insurance claims, has been described as ‘worrying’.
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Liz Fisher, director of sales for Accident Exchange, said ‘This worrying statistic shows that a collision with a foreign lorry is an increasingly real possibility.’
‘A HGV in unfamiliar territory can be a danger. Common types of accidents that might involve trucks are cars getting caught in the blind spot of a lorry that is changing lanes or cars being rear-ended by a much bigger, heavier vehicle. Both are equally as dangerous and we urge all motorists to drive with safety and vigilance in mind at all times.’
‘While safety is the paramount concern, getting involved in an accident with a vehicle from abroad can also lead to frustrating and difficult administrative complications.’
Accident Exchange said that 1.12% of accidents on its records last year involved a foreign lorry on a motorway, up from 0.98% in 2012. That would equal around 1,060 motorway accidents involving a foreign lorry out of 95,000 incidents on the UK road network last year.
Separate figures from the DVSA suggested that a large number of foreign HGVs using UK roads were in an unsafe condition.
2,308 foreign HGVs were reportedly weighed over the past year and almost two thirds of them, 1,415, were overloaded. A further 32,344 were checked for mechanical issues, with 10,586 subsequently being taken off the road due to un-roadworthiness.
Although these figures seem to have risen this could be due to the rise in the number of foreign HGVs that are now using the UK roads due to the shortage of UK drivers.