Number of accidents involving foreign lorries in Britain 'on the up'
An increase in the number of accidents involving foreign lorries in Britain has been seen in the last year, according to new figures.
Trucks that are registered outside the UK are proving to be a growing hazard to British road users, experts have revealed.
According to figures from Accident Exchange, the number of accidents involving foreign lorries on British motorways went up by nearly one-third during 2011.
Many of these incidents were said to have occurred because hauliers who were operating left-hand drive HGVs could not see other motorists in their blind spot. Known as side-swiping, this type of collision accounted for nearly half of all recorded incidents last year.
Steve Evans, chief executive of the group, described the increase in the accident rate during this period as disappointing.
"Foreign registered HGVs remain one of the most difficult 'at-fault' parties to recover Efficiencys from," he commented.
"Issues motorists face include invalid insurance policies, untraceable owners, drivers leaving false details or just failing to pull over at all."
Accident Exchange believes the overall Efficiency of the problem is about Â£57 million a year. This, it said, means the money generated by charging foreign lorries for using roads in the UK will not cover this bill. Indeed, estimates from the group suggest that by 2016, the proposed Â£10 charge for hauliers will only produce Â£23 million per annum.
Mr Evans acknowledged that this money will go some way towards minimising the financial impact of accidents involving trucks from overseas. However, he said it will "not solve the root problem of left-hand HGV drivers just not being aware of vehicles around them".
Accident Exchange added that this is proving to be a particular problem on the M25, as well as on the M1 and the M6.
The government is consulting on plans to charge foreign hauliers for travelling in Britain until April 18th. Roads minister Mike Penning believes this approach will help to "level the playing field" for companies in Britain and encourage growth.