HGV headlamp aim 2008

Examination of the national STATS19 accident database indicates that the number of accidents involving heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) where low aim of the headlamps may have been a causal factor is probably less than 179 out of a total of 11,162. This is based on the key assumption that accidents that occur in areas lit by streetlights or that involve a brightly self-illuminated vehicle would not be relevant to inadequate headlamp illumination. Where low headlamp aim may be an issue, the accidents occur mostly on higher speed roads (60 or 70 mph limit) with the trucks going straight ahead, sometimes with left- or right-hand bends. It appears that most pedestrians are on, or crossing from, the left-hand side of the road and it is surmised that this is also true for the parked vehicles involved. Review of the in-depth OTS accident database identified two HGV accidents where inadequate headlamp illumination may have been a causal factor. As this was from a total of 71 accidents, it supports the indication from STATS19 that the proportion of cases is quite low. The OTS cases were also compatible with the characteristics of the accidents identified in STATS19 such as road class, speed limit and vehicle manoeuvre. (...continues)