Top Safety Tips For HGV Drivers
1. Give Yourself Breaks
Driving can take a toll on you both mentally and physically. You likely find that you are exhausted after even a couple of hours of driving. The good news is, with some breaks in between, it can be more than manageable. You can rest for 15 to 30 minutes between your long driving sessions. This short break can do wonders for improving the way you feel. Most HGV jobs will demand you to be on the road for hours at a time. These breaks are essential to not only keep yourself physically healthy but also to ensure that you are not driving while tired and that your reaction time is optimal.
There is no consensus on how much you should be resting. The key is doing what works for your schedule and body. For some, this may lean more towards 15-minute breaks. For others, it could mean taking 30-minute breaks. Regardless, try different variables out and see what works best. To find out more about the best practices on HGV driving, visit Surrey and Hampshire HGV Training.
2. Plan Your Route
You’ll want to go forward with planning your route. You want to try to plan out a route for your longer-distance drives. This is a great way to ensure that you know where you are doing and you position yourself to get there on time. Without having everything mapped out ahead of time, you could find yourself dealing with a lot of issues that you aren’t prepared for. This includes looking at weather conditions before you set out on your trip. Having a good idea of the weather is a good way to ensure you are rushing in wet and unfavourable conditions.
3. Secure Your Loads
It’s pertinent that you secure all of your loads when you are an HGV driver. While you may think you can get away with not securing them properly because you are experienced or because you are a good driver, that’s not the case. You need to secure everything because it’s not only going to minimise the chances of having the load get damaged, but it’s also going to keep you and drivers on the road safer by doing so. The last thing you want to do is overload your vehicle. Overloading is always going to be worse than leaving too much space.
4. Properly Check and Maintain Your Vehicle
As someone that is going to be on the road day in and day out, you need to get familiar with your vehicle. You want to learn about what the tyre pressure should be and figure out the optimal placement for your mirrors. You want to check these things before you head off on a job. However, you also need to do some routine checks to ensure that everything is operational. You should check important things like your headlights, taillights, and even your suspension before leaving. Doing routine maintenance checks is a good way to keep yourself safe while on the road.
5. Avoid Distractions
This is something you should be doing regardless if you are a professional driver or not. You want to avoid distractions while you are driving. When driving, you are responsible not only for your life but for the life of others on the road with you. This is why it’s so important to dedicate your full attention to what you are doing on the road. You want to dedicate your full attention to your surroundings and not to your mobile phone while in the driver’s seat. Try to keep your phone away from you if you cannot help yourself from messing with it while driving.
6. Don’t Tailgate
You don’t want to drive too close to other vehicles. This is especially true when you are driving such a heavy vehicle. As an HGV driver, you are bound to be driving some heavy vehicles. Try to avoid tailgating because it could leave you in vulnerable positions where you cannot stop in time. You need to give your vehicle plenty of space to stop if a car or vehicle brakes in front of you. This is especially true if you are driving in wet conditions.
7. Don’t Speed
You shouldn’t be speeding no matter what. Speeding is not only an easy way to get into an accident, but it’s also an easy way to get fined. If you went ahead and mapped out your route, there shouldn’t be a reason for you to have to speed. You should know how long the trip is going to take including all of the breaks you will be taking. Therefore, you don’t have an excuse for speeding.