police reports of all the 740 fatal road accidents involving heavy goods vehicles which occurred in great britain in 1976 have been studied. these accidents in which 844 fatalities occurred, have been separated into categories depending on whether heavy goods vehicles were involved alone or with cars, other goods vehicles, buses, two-wheelers or pedestrians. the different characteristics of each type of accident and possible ways of reducing injuries in them are discussed. sixty-seven hgv occupants were killed, the most frequent cause of death being ejection from the cab or crushing when the vehicle overturned. seat belt wearing and stronger cab structure would help in these accidents. a total of 391 occupants in 450 cars were killed. of the cars that were directly involved with the hgv's about half under-ran the hgv structure to some extent. nearly two-thirds of the under-runs were impacts into the fronts of hgv's. strong front and rear under-run guards would benefit car occupants but it is doubtful that adequately strong side under-run guards could be cost effective. lightweight guards fitted along the sides of hgv's would have probably benefitted 39 of the 159 two-wheeler users and 14 of the 159 pedestrians killed, mainly by preventing them from being run over.(a)

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