It seems the New Year’s Eve fireworks aren’t the only thing to look forward to in 2019 – you can also look forward to safer roads. Recent studies show that severe injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents are in decline. However, the fact remains that the number of deaths resulting from road accidents is still high with heavy goods vehicles being the key players in those accidents. This is especially true on single-lane and rural roads which are road accident hot spots for many vehicles including HGV leading to approximately 60-80 deaths a year. So, 2019 is all about road safety, and here we have outlined five LGV driver training tips that you, as a responsible LGV or HGV driver, can utilise to not only prevent motor vehicle accidents but also make roads safe for all road users in 2019.
One of the primary causes of HGV related accidents is the loss of vehicle control. Many things can cause a driver to lose control of a vehicle, and some of them are not the driver’s fault. One of the significant factors that might cause a person to lose control when driving is the weather. Driving in bad weather can be quite challenging. For instance when it’s snowing, not only does the snow affect the road but it also limits the driver’s vision.
Therefore, the driver is forced to struggle to see what’s ahead as well as deal with a slippery road. As a result, you will have a tough time dealing with distractions and hence poor reaction to other drivers on the road. The key to dealing with bad weather lies in regular vehicle servicing and maintenance. Properly functioning and well-maintained wipers, brakes, and other small things might make a world of difference on the road.
Always Be Alert
Heavy goods vehicles are large vehicles meant for bulky goods. Therefore, more often than not, an HGV driver is dealing with more prominent blind spots as compared to a regular vehicle driver. To get ahead of such situations, it is imperative for the driver to stay alert, make use of all mirrors and be aware of all surroundings. When a driver is always alert, they will notice when something is wrong on the road and also be able to react accordingly when dealing with bad weather or irresponsible road users. To help you understand your surrounding on the road, always keep your mirrors clean for better visibility. After all, when driving, mirrors are your extra pair of eyes.
Stay Calm and Calculated
If you have driven on UK roads, you know that UK roads can be quite busy, and the drivers not-so-polite. UK drivers can sometimes be aggressive and a pain to deal with, and it can be easy to lose your head and respond with a belligerent attitude. Rather than extinguish a fire with fire, opt to remain calm and calculated. Consider the big picture (your safety) and don’t respond with aggression or passive-aggression. When on the road, chances are you’ll come across one or two idiots on the road; handle them as calmly as possible.
Be a Responsible Driver
When you are driving an HGV, chances are you’ll have spent hours at the wheel. It can be exhausting as well as boring, and you might be tempted to take out your smartphone and check out Twitter, Facebook, and other things. We’ve seen time and time again countless lives being lost on the road due to a few seconds of carelessness, negligence, and ignorance. So be smart, resist the temptation! Remember, no one understands you as much as you do. So, if you feel tired, don’t push yourself to drive. Pull over, take a nap, take a walk, drink a cup of coffee or breathe in some fresh air to stay alert.
Respect Road Signs, Speed Limits and Other Drivers
Speed kills – and you probably won’t see it coming. According to a report, four people were reported to be exceeding the speeding limit every minute last year. Road signs and speed limits are not for decorations – they are meant to regulate speed and ensure drivers have ample stopping and reaction time to help prevent accidents. Also, be respectful of other driver and road users. Don’t indulge in unnecessary competition. Want to stay safe on the road with your HGV? Stick to the speed limits and respect other road users.