At the time of the increase the move was viewed with scepticism by some safety groups and some in government circles suggested that the change would result in more deaths on the UK’s roads. Full figures for 2015 are yet to be released, but DfT figures for 2014 put the number of HGVs involved in speeding related accidents at 48 (1% of the total figure for all vehicle types). Relatively speaking this is a low number when compared to other road users, but all professionals would agree that 48 is too high and that as an industry we can still improve.
Here are 5 related safety tips for you to share with your trainees and team.
1. Drive to the conditions, not just the posted limit: Just because a road carries a particular limit, it doesn’t necessarily follow that we have to drive right up at the limit, particularly in poor weather conditions.
2. Make use of telematics: Vehicle technology makes it possible to monitor vehicle and driver activity, that works towards managing speed. Look out for tell-tale signs like excessive fuel usage and heavy braking that might indicate unnecessarily fast driving. Harsh braking might indicate two issues that could combine to create a potentially dangerous situation: poor observation and speeding. In 2014, 1,790 incidents resulted from drivers ‘driving too fast’ and being ‘careless, reckless or in a hurry’.
3. Get to the heart of the matter: If it does look like speeding is an issue in your operation, look into possible reasons why. Is there a planning issue that’s creating time pressures for your drivers? Is there a behavioural issue that needs dealing with through training or education programmes?
4. Take visual cues from the environment: In residential and school zones remember that ’20 is plenty’.
5. Regularly assess drivers: Bad habits creep into many areas of life, and nowhere is that more the case than behind the wheel. Regular assessment and corrective training will help keep bad habits at bay.