Unfortunately, the media doesn’t have many positive things to say about HGVs. If you type the term into Google and select ‘news’, you will probably find a lot of reports of accidents, crashed or other mishaps over the past few months. But these issues don’t happen in reality as much as the media seems to think. They are also often the result of drivers who have not been trained in the UK, where we have rigorous safety standards to prevent accidents like this. So today, we wanted to talk about a few of the safety measures HGVs have in place to prevent accidents and keep everyone (including themselves) safe and secure on the road.
Limits On Driving Time
One of the biggest causes of accidents on the road is tiredness. On average, it kills more drivers per year than alcohol, drugs or bad weather combined. Unsurprisingly, professional drivers are most at risk for tiredness. Therefore, measures need to be put in place to make sure they aren’t ever driving overworked or overtired. Thanks to the EU Drivers Hours Regulations, HGV drivers are strictly monitored and limited to how long they can be behind the wheel for. While this can be a bit complex, the basic principles of the regulations state that:
- 9 hours in a day (this can be extended to 10 hours twice a week)
- 56 hours in a week
- 90 hours in any consecutive 2 weeks
In order to track this, all driving is recorded by a tachograph. This data is utilised by both, drivers to track their hours and time their breaks and employers to measure their drivers’ performance. All of this tracking and regulation means that no HGV driver should ever be tired behind the wheel.
State Of The Art Safety Technology
Along with the traditional safety features that you would find on a car, HGVs come equipped with a range of state of the art safety technology. This includes:
- Rear View Cameras
- Reversing Cameras
- Vehicle Radars
- GPS Tracking
- Digital Video Recorders (DVR)
- RFID Technology
- Auto Braking Systems
- Mirror Monitor
- General vehicle safety equipment (similar to what you would have on a car)
This huge range of safety features are all designed specifically to keep HGVs safe on the road. They can be used to prevent accidental collisions during manoeuvres, side swipes on motorways and loads coming loose during transit. All of this helps keep HGVs safe at every stage of their journey.
If you’ve ever driven behind an HGV before, you may have noticed a speed limit sign on the back. This means that the engine of the vehicle has been limited to a maximum speed (usually around 70 mph). This ensures that vehicles can’t be driven too fast and that the driver is always able to brake and come to a stop quickly and safely. Because HGVs can be very dangerous vehicles, keeping their speed limited is important to ensure the safety of other road users.
And of course, every driver is equipped with months of extensive training. Not only are they trained in the physical ‘how to’ of driving such a huge vehicle, but our experts help them understand how to operate the vehicle safely at every stage of its journey. Intensive safety training means that not only are the driver and the vehicle safe, but the operator can ensure the load is secure, the vehicle is in control and nothing will cause an accident. To find out more about how we help HGV drivers operate their vehicles safely, get in touch with us today.