HGV Driver Safety Tips
Take Breaks On A Regular Basis
The first rule for all long-distance driving is to ensure that you take breaks on a regular basis. If you are tired while driving it will put you as well as other people at risk. A majority of HGV driving jobs will require you to spend several hours on the road at a time. That means you need to plan some stops where you will be able to rest.
Consensus on the amount of time you need to rest on a job varies. However, stopping to take a 15-30 minute break every 3-4 hours should help you stay alert. Taking many HGV driver breaks will help with your alertness and reaction time to give them the chance to reboot before driving again.
It is critical to plan your route for all long-haul jobs. If you have many HGV driving hours coming up, you will need to ensure that you know where you are headed. Get your app or sat app ready and be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to your final destination.
Also, be sure to make plans for the weather. Will bad weather impact your arrival time? Factor this into your trip.
Make Sure Your Loads Are Secured
Never head out on a job until your load is secured. It doesn’t matter how great of a driver you think you are, secured loads are always at risk of becoming lost, damaged, or even worse. Be sure to strap in everything tight, and that your lorry is not overloaded. Overloading will more likely cause problems than too much space being left.
Thoroughly Check Your Vehicle And Maintain It
When operating a professional HGV, it is critical to make vehicle checks every day. It involves making sure that everything fits its purpose before heading out on your job. Check the suspension, mirrors, lights, and tyres. It should not take very long. However, if you are caught up by the law and they think your vehicle is not completely safe for the road, you will have to pay dearly.
If you passed your HGV driving licence you’ll definitely know all about grandfather rights. It is a provision in a new law that allows old rules to apply; as such it provides an exemption from having to follow new legislation.
Avoid Becoming Distracted
This applies to every driver. However, it is essential for HGV professionals to stay alert at all times. You can become distracted by many different things. Your smartphone is one of the main culprits. Is it really necessary to make phone calls while you are out on the road driving? Even if it is only for a couple of seconds, your hands should only be on your vehicle’s controls and nothing else. Even slight distractions, like music from the road, can cause an accident. If you really want to play things safe, just don’t take any risks.
Anyone who takes on HGV driving jobs needs to be thoroughly familiar with the Highway Code. However many drivers end up tailgating once in a while. Do you want to stay safe while you are driving an HGV? If so, don’t ever tailgate. Always keep a safe distance between your vehicle’s front and the back part of the vehicle that is in front of you. What if they have to suddenly brake? It could end in disaster for you as well as the other driver.
Curtail Your Speed
Of course, you want to make it to your final destination on time. If your route has been planned well and anything that might interrupt your trip has been accounted for, then it shouldn’t be necessary to rush. So never be tempted to speed.