Road safety and environmental protection have become pertinent issues over recent decades, especially for businesses involved in the transport and freight sectors.

Trucking could become far safer and greener in the near future, however, as a European Union council has recently met to discuss new vehicle proposals.

Under the changes, truck manufacturers would be permitted to create more aerodynamic lorries which could reduce fuel consumption by as much as 10 per cent, and cut down on gas emissions.

“We urgently need to improve the shape of the lorries on our roads. The current dimensions tend to produce a brick shape which is one of the least aerodynamic shapes you can imagine,” said Vice-president and commissioner responsible for transport, Siim Kallas.

Safety is another key effort, with the driver field of vision set to be improved along with the aerodynamic changes. In addition, energy absorbers would be put in place in the event of a crash, preventing injuries to cyclists and pedestrians.

“There is no need to make society wait almost a decade to have cleaner and safer lorries on the roads. I hope that with the help of the European Parliament we can remove any delay and bring the new designs to the market as soon as possible.”

A similar strong effort would be needed to effect the same change in Australia, as fuel savings and improved safety will be needed over the next few years. Lorries on trips from coast to coast could potentially see substantial savings as a result of improved aerodynamics, as they largely travel in a straight line.

For now, companies operating trucks will need to ensure drivers are up to speed the latest road safety rules and regulations.