There has been a lot of talk recently about the poor safety standards of foreign HGV drivers on Britain’s roads. Most notably the much-publicised case of the foreign driver using a laptop for directions whilst driving.
According to the Department for Transport:
Up to 30 people a year die in collisions with left-hand drive trucks from abroad, often as a result of ‘sideswiping’ where the vehicles pull out to overtake unaware of a car on their blind side.
10% of such accidents result in the smaller car being written off, while the average damage bill is £1,872.
Department for Transport have attempted to solve the problem by distributing some 200,000 magnifying mirrors to foreign lorry drivers over the past year.
However, according to Accident Exchange, the number of overseas trucks at fault in collisions has gone up 10 per cent in the 12 months to the end of February.
Lorries registered abroad are involved in about 9,000 accidents each year.
Shockingly, almost 1/2 of the accidents on the M25 are caused by foreign drivers, representing some 25% of all accidents across the UK.
What makes matters worse, is that many of these drivers leave the scene of the accident without stopping or leave false details.
The biggest culprits are truckers from Poland, according to Department of Transport statistics last updated at the end of 2007, followed by those from the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Hungary.
Michael Killoury, managing director of Accident Exchange, said: “Non-existing policies, difficulty contacting foreign insurance companies, drivers pulling off without leaving details are all reasons cited for why motorists are likely to be unsuccessful in recovering damages from foreign-registered HGVs.”