The FTA has welcomed the advent of “improved” mirrors for new HGVs from next year, describing them as a commonsense approach to boosting road safety.

Christopher Snelling, head of national and regional policy at the FTA, said: "We're very happy with this as it's exactly the sort of approach to safety we want.

"This is how to make real gains. Incremental improvements that are not disruptive to business."

Snelling said that the "improved mirrors" would be a marked improvement and should be rolled-out through HGV fleets quickly given the typical renewal cycle in the sector.

Following adoption of a proposal for a wider viewing angle for mirrors on HGVs to reduce blind spots and boost vulnerable road user safety at the European Commission, all new HGVs sold in the EU will need to meet the higher specification from July 2016.

According to the DfT, “the requirement is a larger ground plane area that the driver has to be able to see on the passenger side of the vehicle.

“This has been increased from the existing requirement of 2m to 4.5m from the side of the truck adjacent to the cab.”

It will apply to new HGVs (over 3.5 tonnes) where the Class V mirror is fitted at least 2.4m from the ground.

"Manufacturers are free to choose how to comply with the technical requirement, which is performance based rather than prescribing particular mirrors.

"A combination of Class VI (wide angle), Class V (close proximity and Class VI - front) mirrors can be used to meet the requirement,” the DfT added.