Survey recognises ‘essential role’ lorries have to play

Volvo Trucks, Volvo safety.

A new survey shows that 92% of Britons recognise the role lorries play in the smooth running of everyday life, and the majority of Britons (76%) believe that all road users have a part to play in making the roads a safer place 

Commissioned by Volvo Trucks, the survey was aimed at better understanding the public’s perception of safety issues in relation to lorries. Survey respondents ranged from car, van and lorry drivers, to motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians, of all ages and from all over the UK.

The research found that although most believe that keeping the roads safe is a shared responsibility, respondents broadly agreed that regulatory bodies - such as the Government and the road haulage industry - are not doing enough to create a ‘culture of safety’ on UK roads.

According to the survey, 40% of respondents want to see the Government do more to promote road safety, while only 27% of respondents feel the road haulage industry does enough to assess drivers’ safety performance.

Regarding lorries specifically, more than half of the respondents agreed that they represent a safety risk on UK roads – and 77% believe this to be the case on single carriageways, where other road users are brought into closer proximity with lorries.

The main concern raised by road users - from car to van drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists – was the risk of not being seen by the lorry driver. This concern was particularly prominent among cyclists in London, where interaction with large vehicles is more common.

Regardless of this, almost all (96%) respondents agree that lorry driving requires significant skill and training, and three quarters consider lorry driving to be a responsible profession. That said, there is a strong perception among the British public that the standard of lorry driving varies from country to country.

What’s more, 92% of Britons recognise the essential role that lorries play in the smooth running of our daily lives.

Commenting on the findings, ‎Mike Corcoran, commercial director at Volvo Trucks UK and Ireland said: “We were pleasantly surprised by the survey results, and are incredibly proud to provide for an industry and a profession that are so respected in Britain and bring so much to the economy.

“At Volvo Trucks, we have shown on-going commitment to driving a better understanding of the lorry driving profession while educating different road users on how to behave around large vehicles. This survey has allowed us to understand the public’s broader concerns, and with the upcoming UK launch of our ‘See and Be Seen’ campaign, we will continue to work with the government and the haulage industry to make the roads a safe place for all.”

The ‘See and Be Seen’ campaign which launches this July in the UK features activities and exercises that demonstrate how to improve safety in the interaction between vulnerable users and truck drivers.

John Comer, head of product management at Volvo Trucks UK and Ireland, added: “It is essential that we all take responsibility for our own safety and that of others on the road.

“We are working with local authorities in Warwickshire to roll-out our ‘See and Be Seen’ initiative and welcome local schools, colleges and universities across the UK to contact us should they be interested in joining the campaign.  We want to involve as many road users as possible, starting with the most vulnerable.

“As such, Volvo Trucks will continue to drive a greater understanding of the trucking industry among the public and industry stakeholders, in order to find ways of working together to increase road safety awareness around lorries for everyone.”

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