The number of deaths from accidents on our roads is reducing and we are actually near the lowest fatality rate in a while. However, there are still many casualties in UK roads each year and according to the statistics, HGVs, or heavy goods vehicles, are to blame for most of these accidents. This is especially the case in single track roads in rural areas. In fact, there are about 60 to 80 deaths per year on these types of road, heavy goods vehicle and non-heavy goods vehicle related. Our aim is to help reduce the number of fatalities by sharing a few tips that can make you a responsible heavy goods vehicle driver in 2019.
Stay In Control
This one had to be first, as loss of driver control is the primary cause of HGV related accidents. Firstly you need to make sure you have had the relevant HGV licence training, this will ensure you are up to speed with your driving skills and training. You can lose vehicle control for several reasons and not all are your fault. The weather plays a considerable role in the loss of control, be it ice, snow, fog and even rain. All this makes it hard for the tyres to have a better grip on the road and for you to see properly. However, other forms of loss of control can be your fault. For example distraction and even reacting badly to other drivers. Since most of the causes of control loss are beyond your control, it is best to keep your vehicle serviced and well maintained. That’s because things like efficient lights, wipers and breaks could mean the difference between life and death.
Be Safe and Sensible
The United Kingdom has some of the busiest roads in Europe and most of the drivers in them are far from the sensible ones you will find. Most drivers are usually aggressive and it can be tempting to be passive-aggressive as well. It is usually best to remain calm and avoid responding to aggression while on the road. Just treat the fools with a clear state of mind and don’t drive while under the influence.
Always Be Aware
A heavy goods vehicle is a huge and bulky vehicle and it can be hard to know what is happening at all points of the vehicle, given that your blind spot is around five times bigger than a conventional car. Regardless, failing to use the mirrors properly and considering the surroundings is one of the primary cause of accidents. However, this does not have to be the case. Ensure that you are always keen, particularly in bad weather and keep all the mirrors clear to improve visibility. This will reduce the chances of an HGV related accident occurring.
Be Responsible While Driving
There is no denying that you have been tempted to use a phone while driving and maybe even used one during that never-ending traffic jam. It is something every driver experiences and there has been a number of lives lost because of carelessness. Do not become the next victim or cause casualties because you were browsing through your Instagram feed. Keep your phone away, put it on silent and ensure you are completely when driving. It is worth noting that most accidents occur during the night because most drivers are usually tired and fatigued. If you start to feel sleepy, pull over and take a break, go for a walk or a cup of coffee to make yourself more alert. It’s even more advisable to take a nap.
Respect the Speed Limit
Last but not least, we have to talk about speeding. According to statistics, last year, four HGV drivers were caught speeding. You certainly don’t want to be the next, especially when driving a HGV. Speed limits are there to make everyone on the road safe. This is particularly imperative on rural roads, where it’s tempting to save a couple of minutes by speeding. If you want to keep safe and avoid casualties while in the road, stick to the speed limits.
These are some of the tips that you can implement in 2019 to ensure our roads are even safer!