In 2007, the Guardian published a really great article profiling what it’s like to be a HGV driver with an HGV licence. The article looked very specifically at a driver who was on the road 5 days a week, away from home, driving full time. Some really interesting things came out of this article, and combined with our own observations, we have pulled together 4 things all HGV drivers on the road wished ordinary motorists knew.
This might seem really obviously, but a HGV is incredibly difficult to manoeuvre, especially when compared to an ordinary car. Our vehicles are up to 18 metres long and carrying up to 40 tonnes, so it takes us a bit longer to do basic manoeuvres, like reversing around a corner. Yet driver get increasingly impatient when a HGV needs to block traffic for a few minutes to perform these difficult turns. And while a driver might be quicker at this if they are more experienced, drivers getting irritated and trying to edge past won’t help the situation.
Again, it might seem obvious, but HGV’s generally take around 3 times longer than a car to stop. Drivers of these vehicles are trained rigorously to give themselves enough room to slow down and stop safely, so what’s the issue? Well, it’s actually the other road users who drive in front of HGV’s who brake suddenly, either because they don’t need to leave as long or simply weren’t paying attention. This sort of behaviour is what causes a lot of accidents on the road involving HGV’s – so please, make sure you don’t brake too suddenly while driving in front of a HGV.
While cars might be unlimited, HGV’s are often regulated in their speeds. The law restricts how fast lorries and HGVs can travel, and while some drivers are just expected to toe the line, order companies enforce this with electronic regulators. So when you see a lorry driving along at 70 and you’re stuck behind it while you wait for a clear chance to move across, just remember that it isn’t the drivers fault.
Our vehicles and big and bulky, and due to their sheer size the drivers are somewhat limited in their field of vision. HGV drivers have to pay a lot more attention for obstacles, pedestrians and other vehicles at all times. Sometimes, car drivers forget this, and sitting in the blind spot of a HGV is not a good thing to do. This means that other motorists should be careful that they can be easily seen.
So next time you see a HGV on the road, please bear in mind these few facts, and give them a bit of space and consideration. After all, the roads are for everyone, and everyone using them should get the same level of respect. For more information, or to start your journey to becoming a HGV driver, get in touch with us today.
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