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10 Jan 2019

Unsafe HGVs to be removed from London’s roads thanks to Design School research into dangerous designs

The most unsafe HGVs will be removed from London's roads as part of a world-first scheme that was defined and tested by Loughborough Design School researchers.

The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) assesses and rates how much a driver can see directly from their HGV cab in relation to other road users. The Direct Vision Standard for Heavy Goods Vehicles is the first initiative of its kind in the world to categorise HGVs depending on the level of a driver's direct vision from a cab and is the result of a recommendation made by Loughborough University Design researchers. The initiative aims to tackle road danger at its source, and TfL (Transport for London) has this week launched the final public consultation on Direct Vision Standard proposals.

The team at the School working with Transport for London on this project include Dr Steve SummerskillDr Russell MarshallDr Abby Paterson and Anthony Eland. Their involvement began in 2015 when the LDS team were commissioned by TfL to explore the blind spot size found in 19 trucks using their own CAD system SAMMIE CAD. This demonstrated that blind spot sizes vary considerably due to different design features of trucks, which led to the recommendation for a Direct Vision Standard. The team were then commissioned to define and test the Direct Vision Standard and have done so over the past two years in collaboration with TfL and a stakeholder group.

With TfL research showing that HGVs have been disproportionately involved in fatal collisions in London The Direct Vision Standard forms a key part of the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero approach to eliminating all deaths and serious injuries from London's roads by 2041.

Commenting on the Direct Vision Standard, Dr Steve Summerskill said: “This successful project is the result of the efforts of a number of staff in the Loughborough Design School, who have worked as a team to produce an innovate and accurate testing technique that has been validated by vehicle manufacturers.

 “The result will have a beneficial effect on the safety of vulnerable road users (VRUs) in the UK capital and further afield, with adoption at a European-level currently being explored by TfL and the Loughborough Design School team.

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