Approximately 1% of all GB road vehicles are HGVs but they account for approximately 6% of all motor vehicle traffic and are involved in accidents resulting in approximately 15% of all road traffic fatalities. In 2000, freight trucks were responsible for approximately 23% of global transport CO2 emissions, which in turn represented 14% of ALL global CO2 emissions. Thus, freight trucks were responsible for approximately 3% of ALL global CO2 emissions.
Most trucks are currently designed to maximise the load space that can be achieved within the legally permitted maximum dimensions. This usually means that the front of the truck approximates a flat vertical surface where the cab is positioned above the engine. This has disadvantages for aerodynamics, field of view and collisions with other road users. Re-designing the front of a truck to minimise these disadvantages could potentially offer significant benefits in terms of casualty and emission reduction.
The DfT decided that, in parallel with its research into the feasibility and likely effects of permitting longer semi-trailers, research should also be undertaken into the merits of allowing additional length, irrespective of load space, for the purposes of improved safety and environmental performance. This final report describes the study in full.

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