Some Safety Tips For HGV Drivers
Give Yourself Breaks
It’s very common to get tired when you are driving. That’s why breaks are so important when you are driving long distances. As an HGV driver, that’s all you will be doing. You will be tasked with drinking hour after hour. The majority of these jobs will have you driving several hours at a time. As a driver, it’s your responsibility to not drive while tired. You need to give yourself frequent breaks to avoid burnout. You need to give yourself somewhere between 10 to 30-minute breaks at a time in between your longer sessions. This is the only way to keep yourself alert and maintain an optimal reaction time.
Plan Your Route
You need to start planning your route before you leave. Preparation is crucial when it comes to having a successful route. You want to figure out not only where you are going, but how to get there. You’ll need to prepare beforehand because it’s the only way to ensure you are giving yourself enough time to get there without rushing. Something a lot of drivers fail to do is to plan for the weather. Weather conditions can alter the time it takes to get from point A to point B. Therefore, you should look to see what weather you may experience on the route to see if you need to leave earlier than expected.
You cannot set off on a job before securing your load. A lot of drivers think they can get away with not securing their load because they have experience or because they are good drivers. No matter how skilled you think you are, you will be risking your load every time you drive without securing it. It could get damaged or lost. Take the time to strap your load in before you set off on your route. Also, don’t be tempted to overload the vehicle. You need to avoid this as much as possible because it will lead to even more problems.
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Maintain Your Vehicle
You need to be conducting daily vehicle checks when you are an HGV driver. You want to ensure that the vehicle you are driving every day is fully ready to go. Every vehicle needs to be maintained. It only increases in importance when your vehicle is being used so frequently. Before you head out on the trip, check to see if the lights are working and if your tyres are inflated properly. You also want to do more extensive checks like for the vehicle suspension too. This can help you avoid accidents and it can keep you from getting a ticket.
There are so many things that can distract you nowadays. Whether it’s your phone’s notifications going off or wanting to switch the radio station, it’s best to avoid all distractions when you are on the road. Keeping your smartphone out of arm’s reach is a good way to keep yourself from getting overly distracted. You also want to try to utilize hands-free alternatives. Even if the slightest distractions can cause a lot of issues. If you are looking to keep yourself safe, avoid taking any risks while on the road.
When you are a professional driver, you should know all of the rules of the road. You want to learn the Highway Code in and out. Try to maintain a safe distance between the front of your vehicle and the vehicle right ahead of you. This is important because you never know when they are going to slam on their breaks. It’s best to be adequately distanced to give yourself plenty of time to stop.
Reduce Your Speed
You don’t want to be speeding on the road. Not only do you put yourself at risk of getting fined, but you also put yourself at risk of getting into an accident. One of the reasons why a lot of professional drivers start speeding has to do with being inadequately prepared. You need to prepare yourself as much as possible to ensure you aren’t rushing to get anywhere. You won’t need to hurry if you have taken everything into account including the traffic conditions and weather. This can keep you from having to speed on the road just to complete your delivery on time.