Crave Magazine

Essential Safety Advice for Proficient HGV Operators

safety for HGV Operators

Great news! The number of fatalities resulting from accidents on roads in the UK is decreasing, and we are approaching the lowest fatality rate in recent years. However, despite this positive trend, a significant number of people still lose their lives in road accidents annually. Disturbingly, statistics indicate that heavy goods vehicles are involved in an alarmingly high proportion of these incidents. This issue is particularly prevalent on rural, single track roads where a substantial number of accidents, both HGV and non-HGV related, occur each year, resulting in approximately 60-80 fatalities. Therefore, our aim this year is to contribute to reducing this figure by providing you, as a responsible HGV driver, with five effective strategies to prevent accidents on the roads.

Stay In Control

Lack of control over the vehicle remains a significant factor contributing to accidents involving Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs). When dealing with such large and heavy vehicles like articulated lorries, the consequences can be severe. Drivers may lose control due to various factors, such as adverse weather conditions like ice, fog, and heavy rain, distractions, or the actions of other drivers beyond their control. To prevent this, it is crucial to ensure regular and thorough servicing of the HGV, ensuring that all its functions are in proper working order. By prioritising the maintenance of small yet critical components like wipers, lights, and brakes, the potential for casualties can be significantly reduced. Undertaking courses from Easy As HGV training will remind you of everything you should consider.

Remain Vigilant

Being mindful of your surroundings plays a crucial role in ensuring road safety. However, when operating a larger vehicle, this can present a greater challenge, particularly due to the fact that blind spots are significantly larger compared to those of most regular drivers. Neglecting to adequately observe one’s surroundings is a major contributing factor to road accidents, particularly involving motorcycles. Therefore, it is essential to adopt a proactive approach towards road awareness. Consistently Check your blind spots, ensure your mirrors are kept clean, and make a deliberate effort to remain cognizant of other motorists and the overall road conditions.

Drive Safely

The United Kingdom boasts some of the busiest roads in Europe, characterised by drivers who are known for a lack of politeness. British drivers tend to exhibit more aggression, which can tempt others to respond in a similar aggressive or passive-aggressive manner. However, dangerous driving goes beyond mere aggression; it includes behaviours such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and failing to pay attention to one’s surroundings. It is advisable to remain calm and avoid engaging with aggressive behaviour on the road. Instead, it is recommended to adopt a composed attitude towards reckless drivers and strictly refrain from driving under the influence of any illegal substances.

Be Responsible

Have you ever felt the urge to check your mobile phone while stuck in slow-moving traffic? Or maybe you find yourself adjusting the radio during a long drive on the highway. This is a relatable experience for most people, but it’s crucial to remember that these seemingly harmless distractions can have devastating consequences. Every year, lives are tragically lost due to moments of carelessness like these. It’s important to note that accidents are more likely to occur at night, particularly after 11 pm when drivers are fatigued and less attentive. Therefore, if you find yourself struggling to stay awake, it’s essential to take a break, rest, and recharge before continuing your journey on the road. While it may cost you an additional 30 minutes on your schedule, it’s a small price to pay compared to the potential loss of your own life or someone else’s.

Stay Within the Speed Limit

And of course – the timeless offence. Exceeding the speed limit. Did you have awareness that last year, four individuals were apprehended for speeding every minute? Speed limits are not merely decorative signs – their purpose is to ensure the safety of all road users and provide sufficient braking time to prevent accidents. This is particularly crucial on rural roads, where the temptation to save a few minutes by accelerating may arise. However, it is important to remember that speed limits represent the maximum allowable speed, not a minimum or a target. To ensure your safety on the roads, especially when operating a large vehicle like an HGV, it is imperative to adhere to speed limits and avoid adding to the statistics of speeding violations or fatalities. 

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