In an interview with Autonomy, Volta Trucks founder, Carl-Magnus Norden, said:

in London trucks constituted only 4% of road miles but 26% of pedestrian fatalities and 78% of cyclist fatalities.

I've seen this claim only in ads (including the above article that appears to be a promotion).

Is this true? Is it 'universal' or limited to London?

  • 2
    What do you include under "truck"? Lorries? Pickups? "White vans"? SUVs?
    – TimRias
    Sep 12, 2023 at 9:59
  • 3
    @TimRias: It isn't the OP's definition that is relevant, it is Norden's. I am guessing he means LGVs/HGVs because that seems to be what the statisticians use.
    – Oddthinking
    Sep 13, 2023 at 13:37

1 Answer 1


We can easily find this data for the UK as a whole.

  • In 2022, trucks (which we take to be Heavy Goods Vehicles [HGVs]) accounted for 17.4 billion of the 323.8 billion vehicle miles traveled, which is 5.4% (source).
  • Between 2016 and 2021, collisions with single HGVs accounted for 89 of 654 cyclist fatalities, which is 13.6% (source).
  • Between 2016 and 2021, collisions with single HGVs accounted for 277 of 2551 pedestrian fatalities, which is 10.9% (source).

This is less extreme than the quoted numbers for London, but still shows a similar trend where HGVs are relatively over represented in fatal collisions with bikes and pedestrians.This gives any idea of how "universal" this pattern is.

  • Do trucks cause more than proportional number of deaths per ton of goods transported over a mile? If you banned all large trucks and used many small ones to transport the same goods, would that be fewer or more deaths?
    – gnasher729
    Sep 19, 2023 at 6:42
  • @gnasher729 That is a different question.
    – TimRias
    Sep 19, 2023 at 8:52
  • @gnasher729 This is a pointless comparison, the groups being compared here are: pedestrians, cyclist, regular cars and trucks. Of these trucks are the only ones that are transporting goods. Trains and airplanes produce a lot less pedestrian or cyclist fatal accidents but they are not going on roads.
    – quarague
    Sep 23, 2023 at 17:00
  • 1
    Some extra points to consider: there might be more cyclists in London than in the UK at large, per mile of road etc. Trucks have to adhere to specific routes and hours in London, but sometimes they don't fitzrovianews.com/2023/05/24/… Sep 30, 2023 at 1:56
  • @quarague One 30 ton truck has as much economic effect as ten vans. So you shouldn’t count the numbers but the effect.
    – gnasher729
    Oct 3, 2023 at 0:44

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