Unfortunately, traffic accidents are a common occurrence on Britain’s roads. So common that they rarely make the news. When an accident involves a lorry, however, it is deemed more of a newsworthy story. This gives the impression that incidents involving lorries are more frequent than they actually are. The truth is, HGV driving has never been safer than it is today. Here’s why.
Speed limiters ensure safe braking
As any sensible driver knows, when you are behind the wheel of a vehicle, you are responsible for controlling a potentially lethal weapon. And that is no more so than when the vehicle is a 40-tonne truck. That is why many HGVs are fitted with speed limiters, which prevent them from going above a certain speed. A speed limiter gives the driver and other road users the reassurance of knowing that the vehicle will never reach the kind of speed that could exceed safe braking limits or pose a danger to those around them.
Time limits prevent tiredness
Safe driving requires the driver to be alert at all times. Tiredness brought about by long journeys and lack of sleep, therefore, is the enemy of anyone spending a lot of time on the road. The haulage industry has tackled this issue by enforcing strict regulations regarding the amount of time drivers can spend in transit. Using a tachograph in the vehicle, the time a driver spends driving is recorded and checked to ensure it is within the official limits.
The maximum time limits are:
- Nine hours per day or 10 hours twice a week
- 56 hours per week
- 90 hours during two consecutive weeks
New technology enables safer driving
Modern HGVs are equipped with countless built-in features to make it easier for the driver to be safe at all times. For example, camera technology is taking the danger and uncertainty out of reversing, manoeuvring and generally knowing what’s happening around your vehicle. Similarly, mirror monitors provide drivers with a much broader perspective than a conventional mirror. And the kind of sophisticated braking systems that are currently available give drivers greater control by making skidding almost a thing of the past.
Effective training teaches safe driving skills
There is much more to driving a HGV that transferring it from A to B. When you are on the road, you need to be constantly aware of your own and others’ safety. That is why, at HGV Express, we teach our trainees to stay in complete control their vehicle in every situation. Our experienced instructors provide practical advice on, not just driving, but driving like a true professional, maximising safety at all times.