That is the conclusion of a pilot study of the Dutch research institute SWOV into safety gains to be made if urban distribution were to be organised differently. SWOV calculated the effects of four measures. First of all a decrease in freight mobility on the road, for instance by combining goods in distribution centres, would lead to less freight traffic, meaning less accidents.
In addition freight mobility may shift in time. Using less noisy vehicles will allow trips to be made in the early morning hours, with less cyclists on the road. It is also possible to initiate measures to make lorries safer, by providing drivers with an improved view. And finally a decision can be made in favour of safer routes, as some local authorities have already done in the form of a preferential freight road network.
The positive results of these measures depend on the local starting position and to which extent the various measures are used. On the basis of several assumptions, such as a 20% decrease in freight mobility and a shift to the preferential network by 60% of the lorries, a SWOV model calculation predicts a nationwide decrease of overall 1000 accidents between lorries and bicycles in the Netherlands over a ten-year period. Without these measures 1945 accidents are likely.