Great news! Fatalities due to accidents on roads in the UK are decreasing, and we are close to having the lowest fatality rate in many years.
However, numerous people are still dying every year on our roads, and it is shown by the statistics that heavy goods vehicles get into many of these accidents. That is especially true on more single track, rural roads, where there are numerous accidents that occur each year (both non-HGV and HGV related), and around 60 to 80 deaths. We would like to help get that number reduced this year by sharing 5 tips with you for HGV licence renewal and on how responsible HGV drivers can help to prevent accidents out on UK roads.
Remain In Control
The driver losing control is one of the main things that causes HGV related accidents. There are several different reasons why a driver may lose control of their vehicle, and they are not all their fault. A huge role is played by the weather, from driving in the rain to snow ice and fog. All of that makes it hard for drivers to see clearly and tyres to grip the road. The driver may be at fault in some of this loss of control – from reacting poorly to other drivers to distractions. Since many causes are out of the driver’s control, the best thing that we can recommend is that you make sure your vehicle is serviced and well maintained, since the small things such as efficient lights, wipers, and brakes can actually save your life.
Always Be Aware
HGVs are bulky, large vehicles. This means it is often hard to know what is occurring at all points on your vehicle, particularly when the blind spots are around 5 times larger than an average car. However, if you fail to use mirrors properly or do not consider your surroundings is one of the major causes of accidents within the HGV world – but it isn’t necessary to be that way. Make it a point to look over your surroundings – particularly during bad weather – is critical. Also, prioritise making sure your mirrors are kept clean in order to increase visibility.
Be Sensible and Safe
Some of the busiest roads in Europe are in the UK, and the drivers are not the politest around. UK drivers have a tendency to be somewhat more aggressive, it may be very tempting to respond to this aggression with even more aggression or even passive-aggression. The best thing to do is try to stay calm, and do not respond to aggression while you are out on the road. Instead, idiots should be treated with a healthy amount of Zen, and do not ever drive while having any illegal substances within your system.
Be Responsible While Behind the Wheel
Are you ever tempted to check your phone while you are in slow-moving traffic that goes on and on. We all experience it at some point, and every year those couple of minutes of carelessness result in lives being lost every year. Don’t give in to that temptation! Be sure your phone is kept away while you are in the cab, and be sure to stay totally focussed on the road while you are driving. Also, it is worth stating that accidents most commonly occur at night, after 11 pm at the time when drivers get tired and have a tendency to hit the wall. So if you are feeling your eyelids starting to droop, pull over on the road and then take a break, take a nap, and then go on a walk or drink a cup of coffee so you can stay alert.
Respect the Speed Limit
Then there is speeding – the classic cause. Were you were that last year that four people got caught speeding each minute? Speed limits are not only pretty signs – the reason they are there is to keep everybody safe out on the roads and give you enough time to stop in order to avoid accidents.
That is especially important when driving on rural roads, which is where it may be tempting to speed up to save a few minutes off your driving time.
However, the absolute maximum is the speed limits – not a target or the minimum. If you would like to stay safe while out on the roads, particularly in such large vehicles, then you need to stick with the speed limit instead of becoming another fatality or speeding statistic.