I don’t know if you’ve read the news recently but HGVs are rarely painted in a positive light. Whether it is about emissions, accidents or just generally getting in the way, the media isn’t too keen on HGVs. But HGVs are vital to our economy and the dramatic accidents that are often reported are not as common as you might be led to believe. So this week, we would like to share with you some of the safety features involved in HGV driving.
Limits On Driving Time
One of the biggest causes of accidents on the road is tiredness. On average, it kills more drivers per year than alcohol, drugs and bad weather combined. Unsurprisingly, professional drivers are most at risk of tiredness, so measures need to be put in place to make sure they aren’t ever driving overworked or overtired. Heading this up are the EU Drivers Hours regulations, which state that a professional driver cannot drive for 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 make sure this is being enforced, drivers are required to record all driving time on a tachograph. These machines monitor driving hours, speeds, routes and communications, all of which is fed back to employers/clients to help them observe the drivers’ performance.
Implemented Safety Technology
Along with the traditional safety features you would find on a car, HGVs come equipped with a range of state of the art safety technology. This includes:
- Rear View Cameras
- Reversing Cameras
- Vehicle Radars
- GPS Tracking
- Digital Video Recorders (DVR)
- RFID Technology
- Auto Braking Systems
- Mirror Monitor
- General vehicle safety equipment (similar to what you would have on a car)
This array of technology means that HGVs have never been safer. Reversing mirrors and sensors prevent drivers from causing accidents or damage when completing manoeuvres and sensors and auto-brakes prevent side swipes on motorways.
Next time you are on a motorway, take a look at the back of an HGV sharing the road with you. Odds are that you will see at least one with a speed limit sign on it. While not all HGVs will have one of these signs, most are controlled with some form of speed limiting technology. This means that the vehicle will not be able to exceed the limited speed (usually 70 mph). This is done in order to control the speed and safety of the vehicle at all times. With speed limiters in place, HGVs can’t travel dangerously fast, and the drivers are always in control of the vehicle’s stopping speed and distance.
And of course, no HGV driver would be allowed on UK roads without extensive training. All HGV drivers need to undertake several hundred hours of training, from practical driving practice to theory and safety training, HGV drivers are rigorously trained to be as safe as possible. At Surrey & Hampshire Training, we put our trainees through rigorous testing and safety training in order to ensure they are up to the task of driving such huge and potentially dangerous vehicles. To find out more about how we train our drivers get in touch with us today.