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Ways HGV Safety is Ensured

 
It's easy to find plenty of HGV accident stories in the news. It makes perfect sense given the sensationalist nature of the modern news media. While it's not as bad in the U.K. as it is in the U.S, HGVs are still considered quite dangerous and so, is easy to report on them. However, that gives the impression that HGV accidents are common. The truth is, they're not. They have numerous safety checks to help avoid accidents and improve HGV driver training. Since we've found that most people don't know of these features, we've decided that today, we'll talk about the safety controls the HGV industry has already placed into their vehicles.

Speed Limiters

HGVs tend to have their speedometers on the back. This is to allow those behind the HGV to see how fast the vehicle is moving. This gives them time to adjust their own driving to ensure they have enough clearance. A large number of HGVs are equipped with speed limiters. These are devices installed onto their engines that keep the engine from reaching a certain level of power. This ensures the HGV can't go above a specific speed. This is usually set to 112.6 km, though it's sometimes set lower. This helps ensure the HGVs can't move at a dangerously high speed. It allows the driver enough time to brake in an emergency, which further increases the safety of those around them.

Enforced Driving Time Limits

The unfortunate truth is that many companies pressure their drivers to drive longer hours than is healthy. Tired drivers kill more per year than alcohol, bad weather or drugs combined. Professional drivers are on the road for hours, looking at nothing but stretches of land. It's no wonder they get so tired! However, HGV drivers are under a strict set of regulations covering how long they're allowed to drive. The current regulations insist that an HGV should not drive for more than:
  • 9 hours during a 24 hour period, though twice per week they are allowed to do a 10 hour day
  • 56 hours in a week
  • 90 hours in any 2 consecutive weeks
Of course, one can't just take the driver's word for it if one is to prove they're following the law. This is why HGVs have a tachograph installed. This allows both drivers and employees to track how many hours were driven and overall performance. While regulations can't account for every human error, they at least assure a company can't pressure their drivers to drive longer than they should. At least, not without breaking the law!

Safety Technologies

Of course, speed limiters and hour trackers can only do so much. HGVs are large vehicles, which means they need a few extra safety features. These features include, but are not limited to:
  • Reversing Cameras
  • Rear View Cameras
  • GPS Tracking
  • Digital Video Recorders
  • Vehicle Radars
  • Mirror Monitor
  • RFID Technology
  • Auto Braking Systems
  • General Vehicle Safety Equipment
This is a rather comprehensive range of features. They're all designed to keep HGVs from becoming the terror of the roads that many news channels claim them to be. They help to avoid accidents by ensuring the drivers can see behind and on either side of their vehicles.

Training

Of course, all the safety features in the world can't overcome simple human error. Make something idiot-proof and they simply build a better idiot. At least, it sure seems that way! Aspiring HGV drivers are sent through specialised training. This allows them to have experience and theoretical knowledge of how to navigate an HGV across the roads of England and the U.K. Not only must training include safety training, both theory and practice, but it must also include a full study of the various HGV safety features. HGV training is as heavily regulated as drivers' schedules.