New research: Loughborough University shows that Direct Vision lorries would save hundreds of lives says

The relatively small changes in design that the University of Loughborough have recommended will dramatically increase the drivers' direct vision in critical areas, potentially saving hundreds of lives. Using recently proposed changes to the length of HGVs by the EU Commission, Loughborough Design School demonstrated the improvements possible to an expert panel in Brussels earlier this month. The 'direct vision concept' that Loughborough have recommended would include a slightly curved and elongated nose on the vehicle, a smaller dashboard, expanded glazed areas in the passenger doors and corner of the cab and a slightly lower cab. An improved HGV drivers cab with more direct vision and an increased aerodynamic front provides better safety and reduced costs to the operator.

The European Directive

This study comes at a moment when the Council continues to seek an agreement on the revision of the Weights and Dimensions Directive before the end of 2014. In the spring, the European Parliament adopted its position on the European Commission’s proposal for revised the Weights and Dimensions directive. With little that has been done to improve safety through cabin design in the past years, the European Parliament included an ambitious chapter to improve safety and aerodynamics thanks to cabin design in its final text. The Council, that represents the Transport ministers from all EU Member States however, is not in favour of introducing mandatory requirements for increasing visibility and aerodynamics before a much longer period. This would result in delaying the improvements to lorry cab design by 10 years even as the European Parliament asks for a two year implementation period.

Joint declaration backed by Transport for London, Polis and others

Transport for London (TfL) and Transport and Environment (T&E) commissioned the research. As part of TfL's work to improve safety for all road users, the Loughborough Design School, a school of the University of Loughborough, was commissioned to show that realistic and economical changes to HGV cab designs can lead to tangible increases in the road safety of the roads for all (see TfL press release). In February 2014, Polis joined T&E, TfL and other stakeholders in calling for improving safety and aerodynamics thanks to better cabin design in the revision of the Weights and Dimensions’ directive (Joint Declaration: Safer, Cleaner lorries now!)

Visit Loughborough University’s page on the study.

For more information please contact Cleo Davies: