Posted on 22nd May, 2018 by Dominic Benabda
Despite making up only a relatively small proportion of road traffic, HGVs are regularly involved in some of the most serious accidents on Britain’s roads. And although there are certain accidents which will always be unavoidable, happily for fleet managers and the drivers themselves, there are some excellent precautions they can take to cut down on the likelihood and severity of road accidents. This week on the blog, we’re looking at three of the most common causes of HGV accidents, and how what you can do to prevent them.
We’re kicking off our list with one of the most obvious causes. Many accidents involving HGVs come down to simple lack of visibility. The height of the cab from the ground results in a corresponding increase in the HGV’s blind spot – which is one of the reasons that smaller, more vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists can frequently be in more danger than car drivers. In 2015 alone, there were 377 collisions reported with cyclists – almost a third of whom were seriously injured or killed.
How you can prevent it
Naturally, some responsibility will always rest with the driver in ensuring they’re constantly aware and vigilant of their surroundings. However, here at Vision Techniques we have a range of cyclist safety products that can make this task easier – including TurnAware, a video analytics system that provides drivers with enhanced visibility to monitor their surroundings, helping them to avoid potential collisions.
For many HGV drivers, there is an ongoing issue with the industry regarding the importance of proper breaks. The majority of drivers will be familiar with the idea of driving for exceptionally long distances each day, but those working for certain less reputable firms may well find themselves doing this frequently without proper breaks or periods of rest. This can result in an increased chance of falling asleep at the wheel, which can have potentially fatal consequences.
Even if drivers are taking their appropriate periods of rest, there’s still the possibility that they can become incapacitated in other ways, either due to illness or a pre-existing medical condition (such as an epileptic fit). Once again, if this happens as they’re driving, it could result in a catastrophe.
How you can prevent it
In preventative terms, it’s often up to employers to assigned periods of dedicated rest to HGV drivers, and ensure that they’re taking them. Meanwhile, to minimise the risks posed by drivers becoming incapacitated, fleet managers can install our patented StopSafe system in the cabs of their vehicles. When a driver becomes incapacitated, StopSafe uses a large, easily accessible red button to give crew the opportunity to bring the vehicle to a halt in a safe, controlled manner.
To some extent, human error will always be a sadly unavoidable aspect of life on the road. Leaving aside the issue of negligent driving, it’s not unheard of for HGV drivers to misjudge, for example, the braking distance of their vehicles. Sudden or improper braking can lock the wheels, potentially leading to a jack-knifing scenario. In many instances, proper training and careful vehicle maintenance is the best way to preventatively account for these circumstances.
One of the most common instances of human error we see here at Vision Techniques, however, involve drivers failing to properly apply the handbrake. In fact, it’s such a frequent occurrence that we’ve developed our own technology specifically designed to tackle this danger.
How you can prevent it
The technology in question is our Brakesafe system, which essentially automatically applies the handbrake if the driver forgets. It will also sound an audible alarm, alerting the driver to the risk. This can help prevent incredibly dangerous ‘rollaways’, involving vehicles parked on hills.
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of the most common causes of HGV accidents, but investing in these technologies for your fleet can give you a tangible advantage in heading off some of the major risks. You can click here to browse our full range of vehicle safety products, or give us a call on 08455 911 434.
Posted on 12th Dec, 2017 by Dominic Benabda
HGVs and cyclists have a difficult relationship at the best of times. One is fast, large and potentially deadly, while the other is small, slow and intensely vulnerable – not to mention often being difficult to see. Winter brings these frequent truths into even harsher reality, as shorter and darker days make it even more difficult for HGV drivers to see and account for cyclists. This week on the blog here at Vision Techniques, we have a few suggestions on how to make things easier – and how our cyclist safety products can help.
Posted on 10th May, 2017 by Dominic Benabda
The HGV industry has been in the spotlight again in recent weeks, this time in the context of cyclist safety. This is largely due to a video posted by a disgruntled cyclist involving a Sainsbury’s HGV. It’s drawn a vast number of differing opinions, prompting a national discussion about correct driving procedure for HGVs (and even motorists at large).
Posted on 4th Apr, 2017 by Dominic Benabda
Vision Techniques will be attending the CV Show again this year and for the first time ever will have a vehicle on stand demonstrating all of their systems. They will be on stand 4H76 with BrakeSafe, TurnAware, and VT Record being highlighted this year.
Posted on 16th Mar, 2017 by Dominic Benabda
Once again Vision Techniques attended the CLOCS show at the Excel, London. The event took place on the 14th March 2017, with cyclist safety systems and the new rollaway prevention system BrakeSafe being highlighted.
Posted on 30th Jan, 2017 by Jonathan Peach
Cyclist safety is a massive national concern, especially for those in urban environments, and is a big issue for us at Vision Techniques. Between 2000 and 2012, the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on our roads went up by 59%, which is an unnerving figure to say the least, and current London mayor Sadiq Khan made it a focal point of his campaign. HGVs were involved in the vast majority of these accidents, despite making up a tiny proportion of normal road traffic.
Posted on 8th Jun, 2016 by Jonathan Peach
Cyclist safety is still a huge topic in today’s news and has come to light once again following a new petition. The petition, launched in May, has called for a legal minimum passing distance when drivers overtake cyclists. While the Highway Code already advises motorists to leave plenty of room when passing cyclists, will implementation of this new law enforce the issue or not make a difference at all?
Posted on 24th Mar, 2016 by Dominic Benabda
Vision Techniques had a fantastic show for the CLOCS event at ExCel in London meeting new businesses and seeing some familiar faces.
Posted on 18th Mar, 2016 by Jonathan Peach
This week, the Transport committee has called for the mandatory roll out of Transport for London’s Safer Lorry Scheme across the UK. This new call comes as part of a push to improve road and cyclist safety.
Posted on 18th Jan, 2016 by Jonathan Peach
Two companies that flouted London’s Safer Lorry Scheme (SLS) by using unsafe vehicles have been prosecuted and fined. The vehicles, which were not fitted with the proper safety equipment mandated by the 2015 scheme, are proof that the SLS is being taken extremely seriously by road transport officials. Moreover, the case highlights the ever-growing importance of cyclist safety technology.