Large increase in foreign HGV accidents

Accidents involving foreign lorries have dramatically increased in the past five years.

Polish HGV accidents have risen more than eight-fold, from 361 in 2001 to 3,132 in 2006. While only one Lithuanian lorry was involved in an incident in 2001, there were 745 recorded in 2006.


The Association of British Insurers, who conducted the survey said that the figures underline the need to bring in-line the weaker road safety rules of other European countries, where MoT testing is commonly less frequent and rigorous.

According to The Times newspaper only Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Slovakia have vehicle testing as strict as in the UK.

In 2005 20 per cent of foreign lorry collisions involved sideswiping, which suggest that the correct blind spot mirrors were not fitted.

Are you concerned about HGVs? Are foreign drivers a particular problem? Leave a comment below.
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Filed under Driving, gap insurance

7 responses to “Large increase in foreign HGV accidents

  1. Agree with Neil on this one.

  2. francoscott

    How do I create a new topic in this Blog? I need help identifying a supercar I just photo’d in Dubai!


  3. Julia Reynolds

    I have just experienced a collision with a Hungarian lorry driver. He drove into the back left hand side of my 6 month old 911 on the m25 junction 11 turn off. I was travelling at 37 MPH and him the same. He spoke no English at all and my Hungarian is limited to two words. He could not give me his insurance details, but managed to write his name on the paper I handed him and his phone number. I did manage to get his company name and obviously his HGV details. As I do not have his insurance details, the replacement car has to come from my insurance not his, obviously.
    What makes me really, really, really angry about this, is that this is the second time this has happened to me in two years. The last time a loose tyre fell off the back of a foreign lorry, bounced and landed on the front of the car, smashing the whole front in. Guess what I had to pay through my insurance and lost my 10 years of no claims.
    Anyone out there with same experience? Any ideas how or who I can take this further? I am sick of being a high tax paying, law abiding British citizen, with two damaged cars and be forced to pay for others incompentence. I intend to take it further, need some help with finding out how to take it further.

  4. Carl

    On Tuesday this week (20/1/2009) I was in lane 2 of the M6 coming home from work. I just about passed a Czech HGV when it pulled from lane one into lane 2. It clipped the back of my car, spun me at right angles to the road and carried on driving.

    I was honking my horn, trying to stear out of it, but there was nothing I could do. H eventually he realised and stopped, he had to reverse off my car to let my passenger out.

    Fortuantely nobody was hurt, looks like my car is a write-off , but hell, that was the scariest moment of my life. What if I had a smaller car, or the truck was older and didnt have the latest spreader bar on the front. Even wose, what if I was on a moterbike.

    I had a very lucky escape, but it clearly highlights the blindspot problem. Forget the competition side of things for a moment, the point that cannot be argued is the safety aspect!

    I really thought I was going to be crushed by the HGV’s if it had gone on moment longer my tyres would have burst, my car likely rolled then who knows what. The same applies to UK HGV’s going over to the continent. It seems such a small cost for the extra mirrors, even if some dont use them well, most would, why wouldn’t they!

  5. Neil Duran

    Its not the fault of foreign truck drivers. They are bringing goods into the UK that we need. The fault lies with the labour government, uk businesses and lastly with people wanting goods as cheaply as possible. Pay the rate for the job, employ uk drivers and uk haulages. Treat hgv driving with more respect and we can limit the number of foreign drivers on uk roads. Otherwise, stop complaining.

  6. Jim philips

    Im a hgv class 2 driver and i work for a delivery company at Gatwick Airport .
    Ive had lots of experience working with eastern european drivers over the last two to three years.

    In my opinion with working with these guys i am not convinced that the majourity of these drivers have the skills or the know how on how to drive proffesionaly and safely on our roads .
    I would say that there has to be a big question mark on some of there licenses as some of the drivers i have worked with looked like that they have never stepped behind the wheel of a hgv truck before coming to the uk .
    I think that there should be tighter controls governing foreighn drivers and that they should be forced into taking a uk test after 6 months into coming into our country .

  7. andrew

    I’d say yes, they are a problem!
    First of all, we all know that in some EU countries, passing your vehicle test, for example, an 18 wheel, 18+ tonne heavy goods vehicle license is a lot easier, and allows you to drive anywhere within the EU, now I work with some polish foreign nationals, there driving standards compared to people whom have passed there test in the UK is very poor, they have improved there driving habits, over a period of time, but not quick enough for my liking, one drove into a brick wall because he thought his brakes could stop him, in the pouring rain.
    Another thing I do know is that the police are next to useless when they pull over a foreign national drivers, mainly because of the commuications problems,the other being lack of knowledge of how our road system works, we don’t get any mercy aboard, so why should they? personally I think they not stupid and play the ‘I can’t speak english’ card, the police officer loses patiences then lets them on there way.
    The DSA or DVLA or whoever the driving standards body is these days, should do the following, examine the test in the country of origin, assess if there test covers our road conditions, then decide if there license is valid in this country.
    Personally, I think they should have a global license, that anybody whom goes from one country to another regualry is required to take, the test is difficult, but covers everything they are likely to come across!

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