The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has spoken out to reassure drivers that HGVs have never been more motorway-safe.
The move follows the publication of a Brake survey, which revealed increased HGV motorway traffic prompted anxiety about safety among other drivers.
"The driver perceptions Brake has focused on are not reflective of reality,” Christopher Snelling, head of UK policy at FTA. “In fact in the last six years the number of people killed or seriously injured in incidents with HGVs on motorways in Britain has reduced by over 15%.
"Contrary to public perception, the amount of freight being transported on UK motorways has only marginally increased (2.6%) over the last 11 years, it has only just reached the pre-recession levels of a decade ago.
“We want to take this opportunity to reassure motorway users that safety is the number one priority of the HGV industry.”
The study by the road safety charity found more than three-quarters of drivers believe too much freight is being transported on our motorways, citing concerns around safety.
However, other independent research shows HGV motorway traffic has only increased by 2.6% in 11 years, and motorway accidents involving these vehicles have fallen significantly
Figures taken from Road Traffic Statistics and Reported Road Casualties reveal:
- In 2016, HGV motorway traffic reached the 2007 pre-recession level of 7.7 billion vehicle miles and increased by 2.6 per cent to reach 7.9 billion vehicle miles in 2017.
- The proportional involvement of HGVs in motorway accidents (all severities) has fallen from 13.1 per cent in 2007 to 9.9 in 2016 despite the same amount of HGV traffic on motorways. Involvement in fatal motorway accidents has also fallen slightly over the same period.
- The number of fatalities and individuals seriously injured also shows a downward trend in the past few years. In 2011, 22 people were killed and 41 were seriously injured as a result of motorway accidents (including pedestrians) involving HGVs, by 2016 this number had reduced to 15 and 37 respectively