A lot of work has been done on improving the field of view of heavy goods vehicles (HGV) drivers using mirrors and direct line of sight. In addition a range of other technologies are available or under development to assist with providing pertinent information on their surroundings to drivers. These include:

  • Blind spot mirrors allow the driver to see all around and in front of their vehicle, and Reversing Safety Systems allow them to see behind the vehicle. Situations on the road change quickly however, and drivers cannot look everywhere at once

  • Technologies such as Enhanced Daytime Vision Systems and blind spot warnings can direct the driver to look at the appropriate mirror.

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) systems could in the future become advanced enough to stop the vehicle when turning if a vulnerable road user is detected in the path of the vehicle.

  • In addition changes to the articulation method, and multiple wheel steering could reduce lorries encroaching on paths (this is especially useful for lorries primarily used in urban areas). Multiple wheel steering including rear axle steering allows the rear of the vehicle to more closely follow the swept path of the front of the lorry. These systems have been available for more than ten years (Cebon, 2014) and can be applied to both rigid and articulated vehicles.

  • Direct Vision Standards defined and implemented in London to have a minimum field of view for HGVs. This includes astar rating system with 0 star rated HGVs being banned from 2020 and 3 star minimum from 2024.


Exposure to loud noise can cause tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ear), hearing loss and can lead to permanent damage as well as the more standard sleep disruption. Due to the negative effects of noise, HGV movements in urban areas are often constrained during night-time and/or weekend. If such night-time delivery restrictions could either be relaxed or removed, where appropriate, there are significant potential benefits, primarily associated with reduced day-time congestion. This has been demonstrated in some trials undertaken by TfL. Alongside this, current trials undertaken by TRL on behalf of TfL are investigating the noise impacts of borough-wide retiming of deliveries in London.

Vibrations and noise from the following ancillary technologies can be reduced. Some of the key areas of noise are:

  • Trailers/truck bodies (including walls, floors and stowage)

  • Tail-lifts

  • Refrigeration units

  • Rollcages and containers (assessing both rolling noise and collision noise)

  • Doors - Quiet-closing doors

  • Auto-turn-off radios

  • Fork lifts and pallet trucks

Technology is readily available and can be implemented at fairly low cost, which would reduce the effects of the equipment mentioned above (FORS, 2017).

Additionally for the reduction of noise it is important that vehicles should have a current service history in order to ensure that the vehicles are operating at their optimum, and the driver has been trained regarding the consequences of certain actions.


Rear and front underrun guards are required on HGVs. However some types where it would be impractical to fit are exempt. In addition side guards are required, however these are currently only designed to prevent pedestrians and cyclists from directly falling under the wheels.

84% of rear impact cases between a car/HGV still resulted in underrun even where Rear Underrun Portection (RUP) was fitted, suggesting that the current designs are not suitable for preventing underrun in all current accident circumstances.

An improvement to the required designs seems prudent. However, some benefit analyses of individual components changes and benefits do not support this. An integrated approach to the improvement to the design of the RUP, side underrun protection (SUP), and Spray suppression systems of HGVs may yield much greater combined benefits at lower cost than considering the elements individually. Smooth sided guards on HGVs also have the added benefit of increasing fuel efficiency due to the improved aerodynamics.


Platooning or Road trains have the potential benefits of greater fuel economy for all vehicles participating in the train. Network capacity benefits may accrue as a greater number of vehicles will be able to fit on the road network. Following vehicles may experience a more comfortable drive and the opportunity for human error to cause collisions may be reduced.

A number of trials undertaken have demonstrated these benefits with the SARTRE Project showing an 8% fuel saving for the lead truck and 14% for the following trucks. Apart from this, it was also found that traffic flow increases when road trains are present.


  • Date Added: 03 Apr 2012, 08:20 AM
  • Last Update: 17 May 2017, 10:32 AM