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Volvo study shows that public appreciate trucks

By: Dave Robbins
18 September 2017

The RHA’s (Road Haulage Association) National Lorry Week was in full swing last week (September 11-16th).

It got underway with a House of Commons reception and was followed by events across the UK, including jobs fairs, school visits and a family fun day. As in past years, its aim is to highlight the essential role played by the road transport & logistics industry in our everyday lives. With an eye on the future, it also encouraged younger people to consider a career in the industry.

All of which makes the results of a recently published Volvo Trucks’ survey even more interesting. Part of its ‘See and be seen’ road safety campaign, the survey sought the opinions and attitudes of over 2,000 road-users including; car drivers, lorry drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. They were asked to consider the importance of goods vehicles and, with road safety in mind, whether lorries added to the risk of accidents.

The results were, generally, very positive, with respondents showing that they appreciated truck drivers and the essential they and the trucks they drive, play in the smooth running of their lives. Almost all respondents (96%) broadly agree that lorry driving requires significant skills and training. More than three quarters consider lorry driving to be a responsible profession with 79% trusting that lorry drivers were always paying full attention to the road. However, lorry drivers are expected by 50% of road-users to take greater care in making our roads a safer place. Around 45% of those interviewed felt that training levels for lorry drivers should be increased.

There’s also general agreement that truck operators pay close attention to safe loading and maintenance of vehicles and equipment. Only 8% of respondents had any worries about insecure loads and even fewer (4%), poorly maintained equipment.

When it comes to trucks themselves, the vast majority (92%) said that they recognised the important role lorries play in everyday life. Indeed, with ever increasing online shopping, the same number of respondents agreed that increased freight traffic is needed to suit modern life.

On general road safety note, a large proportion (75%) of respondents felt more at risk on single roads than motorways, with better developed motorways appearing to be more comfortable places to drive.

Ideas suggested for reducing traffic accident risk included only allowing trucks on the road at night (33%), dedicated lanes for lorries on dual carriageways (45%) and ‘suitable behaviour around lorries’ to be included in the national driving test (44%). However, the majority of respondents (76%) were of the opinion that all road-users have a responsibility to improve road safety.

“It is essential that we all take responsibility for our own safety and that of others on the road,” said John Comer, Volvo Trucks’ head of product management, “We want to involve as many road users as possible in our ‘See and be Seen’ campaign, starting with the most vulnerable. As such, we’ll continue to drive a greater understanding of the trucking industry among the public and industry stakeholders, in order to find ways of working together to increase road safety awareness around lorries for everyone.”

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