Police reports of all the 740 fatal road accidents involving heavy goods vehicles which occurred in Great Britain in 1976 have been studied. Although loss of control is briefly considered the report concentrates mainly on the need to reduce the severity of injury of all road users involved in the accidents. It is estimated that 35 per cent of fatally injured occupants of HGVs might have lived if they had worn a lap and diagonal seat belt, the main benefit being prevention of ejection. A further 12 per cent might also have lived if, as well as wearing a seat belt, the cab roof and supports had been strong enough to prevent severe crushing during overturning. As regards road users other than HGV occupants, it is estimated that, provided seat belts were worn, front under-run guards would have been of benefit to 10 per cent of all occupants killed in cars and light goods vehicles in accidents involving heavy goods vehicles and rear under-run guards of benefit to an estimated 5 per cent of fatally injured occupants. Lightweight guards fitted to the sides of HGVs could possibly prevent fatal injuries to an estimated 15 per cent of the pedal cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians killed by the heavy goods vehicles, mainly by preventing them from being run over. This report is a final one on the project originally described in SR 586.(A)

Want to know more about this project?