Avoid Having Accidents While Driving A HGV:
We all know accidents happen. But, when they occur in an HGV, they sadly can be fatal, due mainly to the size and weight of an HGV. All HGV drivers train to a high standard, but like everyone else, they can have a moment’s lapse of concentration or be too big and slow to avoid someone else’s lapse. We cannot cover every scenario where a HGV accident that might happen, but this blog wants to raise awareness of some of the most typical causes and, in doing so, help reduce the risks they pose.
Tiredness Can Kill
We see that sign on nearly every motorway, often coinciding with advertising a service station. A saying you don’t think relates to you! Unfortunately, it refers to everybody. Research has shown that tired drivers can be as dangerous as drunk-drivers as they suffer from,
- Slower reaction times
- Reduced attention and awareness
- Reduced ability to control their vehicles
HGV drivers must take prescribed rest breaks and be aware of how they feel. Driver fatigue can creep up on you, which is when accidents happen. Combine driver fatigue with being late for delivery, bad weather or both, and you are an accident waiting to happen. This is when you need a break – do so for your health and everyone else on the road.
Another adage is that the faster I go, the slower I get, which is more about how stressed you can get if you run late—often made worse when it is not your fault. But you need to remember you are driving a large, heavy vehicle that is difficult to manoeuvre at the slowest of speeds, and physics dictate that it is harder to stop an HGV when going at speed, especially in rain or snow.
- To avoid the need for speed, check the weather forecast for where you are travelling and allow yourself time to arrive when you should.
- Factor in some break time if you need more sleep starting out.
- Check your tyre tread. Heavy rain and low tread are a bad combination for stopping your vehicle. Remember, it is against the law to speed!
Most of your days as an HGV driver is making good time to pick up or drop off your load. However, with the busy roads, the attitude of car drivers, and the frustration of traffic jams, there can be a build-up of frustration that can lead to road rage and aggressive driving.
Once again, you are bigger than most other vehicles and responsible for being more professional in your driving behaviour. You need to be confident in handling any incidents by keeping a cool head.
Help yourself into this frame of mind by ensuring you are not tired when you are on the road. Rest if you start to feel that way. Plan your journey, check sat nav for possible snarl-ups and avoid them when you can.
Being under time pressure is one of the biggest contributors to stress and frustration. These two factors combine to tire you out, make you more irritable and puts you at risk of an accident, which hopefully will not be fatal but will always be costly!
Be careful of yourself and your health to assist you in maintaining safe driving habits that help you and all other road users.
What you need to know
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