Rising Demand For Last Mile Delivery May Pose Risk For Vulnerable Road Users

Vehicle CCTV and telematics provider Centrad has shed light on the growing risk from last-mile deliveries on vulnerable road users.

Shining a particular spotlight on the importance of technology to reduce collisions as well as incidents of theft or damage, Centrad has suggested that solutions such as video proof of delivery (POD) and internal and external camera systems will fast become fundamental tools in a fleet operator’s arsenal in the coming years.

Amid the continued rise of online shopping since the pandemic, demand for last mile delivery in the UK has since followed suit. In accordance with this shift in buying habits, so too has expectation with regards to delivery – with consumers wanting their orders faster and at times to suit their schedule.

According to Logistics UK, the last mile delivery market is tipped to achieve 10 per cent growth between 2022 and 2029, with the acceleration of the e-commerce market following a similar upward trajectory.   

As volumes increase, many couriers across the UK are already expanding their fleets to fulfil capacity.

Geoff Cross, Managing Director of Centrad, has warned that the combination of increased van traffic on UK roads and further pressure being placed upon drivers to meet tight delivery times could lead to more collisions, especially in urban areas where traffic and pedestrian volumes are higher, and streets are narrower.

Since 2012, van traffic has increased by 35 per cent, with Go.Compare pointing to consumer e-commerce as one contributory factor for this hike.

With vans also being involved in more fatal collisions which affects other road users per mile travelled than any other type of vehicle on UK roads, an influx in further traffic is likely to only augment current figures – which are already on the rise.

To combat this potentially growing and fatal trend, Centrad has urged delivery operators to consider adopting vehicle CCTV camera technology to mitigate the risk their fleets pose to vulnerable road users.

Geoff Cross commented: “The rise in online shopping in recent years and expectations on the quality, timeliness and flexibility of the final mile delivery offering has indeed placed significant pressure on both delivery operators and their drivers to meet demand.

“This presents several issues. With drivers, especially lone workers, finding themselves under pressure to meet tighter delivery times, they may neglect safety procedures by handling more parcels than is recommended or adopt unsafe driving behaviours such as speeding, posing risk to themselves, other road users and pedestrians. Liberties may also be taken with where parcels are left if the recipient isn’t present at the address, leaving them vulnerable to potential damage or even theft.

“Accident statistics where vans are directly involved are also on the rise, especially those which include fatalities. With more demand for deliveries comes an increased need for more vehicles and drivers on the road, which has every potential to translate into further incidents.

Geoff continued: “While there isn’t a magic wand that can eradicate such risks, there are measures which fleet operators can take to significantly mitigate potential incidents from occurring.

“The installation of cameras on light goods vehicles and van fleets would provide a number of benefits. Through the use of forward-facing AI camera solutions both drivers and operators would be alerted to distracted driving habits such as mobile phone usage or even signs of fatigue. If damage or theft occurs, then there is a video proof of delivery (POD) solution available which offers downloadable footage that can be used as evidence in the event a claim is made. There are also camera solutions available which enable total visibility around the vehicle and will prompt alerts if vulnerable road users are within close proximity.

“We have aimed to cater to this paradigm shift by offering a range of products that are specifically designed with LGV fleets in mind. Ultimately, through embracing vehicle CCTV technology, operators can ensure that their drivers, vehicles, goods and vulnerable road users are kept safe and secure, mitigating the potential for accidents and lowering insurance premiums.”

Founder

Headshot of Geoff Cross, Centrad's Managing Director
Geoff Cross
Managing Director

I’m Geoff Cross, Managing Director here at Centrad. You might not know, but I used to be a fleet operator. So, I know the challenges and frustrations you’re facing with theft, vandalism, and of course, insurance claims.

In fact, back when I owned a fleet, we knew all too much about  insurance claims, but that’s a story for another day. That’s what gave  me the idea for Centrad – because I know how much of a pain those  issues are. I wanted to solve that problem.

I understand the issues you face, which is why we help fleet operators  like you increase vehicle safety through CCTV and telematics AND  save thousands of £ every single year.

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