Terrifying footage shows the moment a ‘texting’ van driver swerved out of his motorway lane and into the path of a 44 tonne truck.
Dashcam video filmed by an HGV driver shows the yellow van drifting directly into the lorry’s path at speeds of more than 50mph.
The vehicle comes within just inches of the lorry, owned by transportation firm KBC Logistics, before it merges back into the right lane on the M25 near Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire.
David Ashford, director of transport at the company, claims he spotted what appears to be a phone in the other motorist’s hand.
The dashcam footage filmed from the front of the truck shows the yellow van drifting into another lane. The driver can be seen holding his mobile phone (circled)
Footage filmed on the side of the cab shows the yellow van drifting ever closer to the HGV
Mr Ashford, 53, said: ‘We have around 200 trucks, so the drivers come to us when they have had a near miss and we check the cameras.
‘When I was looking at the video, I noticed the van driver had a phone in his hand.
‘He drifted because he was on his phone.
‘If the driver had panicked and swerved right he could have hit the central reservation and gone into the opposing carriageway.
‘All of our truckers are fitted with four cameras, but the company the yellow van belongs to obviously doesn’t have them fitted or they wouldn’t let their drivers use phones at the wheel.
The van come perilously close to the lorry, as the driver, wearing a hi-vis peers down at his phone
The image shows just how close the near miss was, as the two vehicles speed along at around 50mph on the M25
‘The footage shows just how near a miss it was, it is pretty disappointing.
‘It could have led to a fatality, texting is just ridiculous when you are driving.
‘You are not paying attention to what is going on at all and that is the reason why he drifted into another lane and didn’t realise what is coming.
‘It could have been yet another road accident caused by a phone.’
The video, filmed at 12pm last Thursday, emerged as calls were made by MPs yesterday to impose stricter punishments on those caught texting at the wheel.
David Ashford (pictured) director of transport at the company, claims he spotted what appears to be a phone in the other motorist’s hand
Those found using their phone at the wheel currently receive six points and a £200 fine.
Mr Ashford, who has not reported the incident to the police, added: ‘These plans are 100 per cent for me – they need to give harsher penalties out.
‘If you take a similar approach to drink driving, where it’s a 12 month ban, people would consider it more.
‘The trouble is there are not enough police on the road, you have cameras to catch speeders but not enough to pick up on bad driving.’
No spokesman for the company visible on the yellow van was available, but one employee stated ‘it’s not true’ when asked for comment.