HGV Safety Controls
If you type ‘HGV’ into Google news, you will be overwhelmed with stories of HGV accidents. HGV accidents tend to be a bit more dramatic than standard vehicle accidents and consequently HGVs are considered very dangerous machines, which are often highly reported on. But these accidents don’t happen as often as the media likes to claim, thanks to the extensive safety controls in place on all HGVs. So today, we want to talk to you a bit about what safety controls are in place and how much emphasis is placed on safety at every stage of an HGV driver’s career.
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.
Enforced Driving Time Limits
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, so measures need to be put in place to make sure they aren’t ever driving overworked or overtired. There are a set of very strict regulations around how long drivers can be on the road for in a single shift, a 24 hour period and a 2 week period. The driving regulations state that an HGV driver must not drive more than:
- 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. These regulations mean that HGV drivers are never driving tired and are always alert and safe on the road.
As well as these regulations, HGVs are also equipped with a variety of safety features and technologies that help HGV drivers stay safe on the road. These technologies include:
- Rear View Cameras
- Reversing Cameras
- RFID Technology
- Auto Braking Systems
- Mirror Monitor
- Vehicle Radars
- GPS Tracking
- Digital Video Recorders (DVR)
- General vehicle safety equipment (similar to what you would have on a car)
This comprehensive range of safety features is designed specifically for HGVs in order to promote safety at all times. They help avoid accidents and incidents such as; collisions because of tight spaces, reversing accidents, goods being stolen, cyclist collisions, sideswipes on motorways and more.
And of course, every HGV driver has to undergo long and rigorous training before they are awarded their licence. Because they are driving such a big, heavy and potentially dangerous vehicle, safety is paramount within their training. Not only are our trainees taught the nuts and bolts of driving and maintaining their vehicles, but they are taught all facets of safety on and off the road. With this training, the operator can safely operate the vehicle from loading to unloading, without incident. To find out more about how we train our drivers, get in touch with us today.