A nationwide investigation was carried out into accidents involving either a goods vehicle or a public service vehicle on Motorway and A(M) roads. The object of the study was to identify driver characteristics associated with the accident, including: length of driving prior to the accident; impairment due to fatigue, alcohol, medicine, smoking, or state of mind; and driving experience. Other external factors due to environment or vehicle were also to be considered. Details of 943 accidents involving 2012 drivers and 2075 recorded vehicles were obtained over a period of six months: half of the vehicles were heavy goods vehicles over 3 tonnes unladen weight (HGVs), 216 were other goods vehicles and 70 were public service vehicles (PSVs). Attempts were made to conduct a personal interview with as many drivers as possible, resulting in 1501 recorded interviews (75 per cent). This study has identified and quantified the dominant features in motorway accidents involving goods vehicles or public service vehicles in terms of environmental conditions, vehicle movements and driver characteristics. In particular, wet weather conditions, restrictions on normal motorway operation, stationary or parked vehicles on the carriageway, shunts, and overtaking or jacknifing are important elements in contributing to these accidents. Information obtained on the driver's state of mind and whether fatigued prior to the accident suggests that ways to combat boredom and keep drivers alert would make a significant contribution to safer motorway driving. (A)

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