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It has happened yet again. Truck driving by sat nav has caused yet another accident – this time in Woolpit, Suffolk. A driver operating a large articulated lorry made several mistakes based on faulty sat nav directions to finally end up on a very narrow lane with listed buildings on either side. He eventually crashed into one of those buildings, leading to his arrest.

According to news reports, the road in question has seen more than its fair share of accidents involving large lorries over the last two years. Residents say the problem is that faulty sat nav data is sending drivers down Mill Lane from Heath Road despite the fact that the narrow street is not suitable for anything larger than a typical passenger car. Once drivers find themselves in a position where they realise they do not have room to manoeuvre, they are stuck. Proceeding forward will almost certainly result in an accident while attempting to reverse without supervision is equally dangerous.

In this latest accident, a couple in their 70s experienced damage to their Grade II listed home – a home they have lived in for more than 30 years. Just in the last two years, this house has been damaged more than 12 times by commercial vehicles that have no business being in their lane. The couple, along with their neighbours, worry that eventually their homes will not be insurable because the cost of fixing the damage to a listed home is so great.

What Seems to Be the Problem?

The obvious question in light of this latest accident is: what seems to be the problem? Why is it that some drivers still don’t appear to understand that a sat nav device is an imperfect tool that should be used only as a general guide? Furthermore, why have local officials not seen to it that proper signage forbidding access to the neighbourhood by articulated lorries is installed? Currently, there is only a single advisory notice in place.

As for the drivers, common sense should always prevail over sat nav data. If a driver is proceeding into a residential area that appears to be narrow, the solution is not to continue forward hoping that the roadway will widen enough to be safe. The driver should immediately stop and figure out what is going on. If that means calling for help in order to safely reverse out of a tight situation, so be it. Continuing to move forward until one ultimately causes an accident that damages someone else’s property is more than inappropriate.

Here at the HGV Training Centre, we do our best to instil in the minds of our students the necessity of common sense. The best drivers understand that they are ultimately responsible for the decisions they make irrespective of what digital technology tells them. We sincerely hope other drivers get the message. We hope this latest truck driving accident in Suffolk is the last one to occur in this neighbourhood.


  1. Telegraph – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/12184564/Lorry-in-Sat-Nav-blunder-crashes-into-Grade-II-listed-Suffolk-cottage-after-dozens-of-accidents-in-same-spot.html


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