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Category Archives: Road Safety

The Coca-Cola Christmas Truck is not as road-safe as it could be

Posted on 30th Nov, 2018 by Jack Stocker

coca cola truck

You know it’s finally Christmas when the the Coca-Cola Christmas truck makes its official appearance on our screens. Sponsored by one of the world’s biggest global brands and deployed by the ultimate logistics manager – the venerable Santa Claus – the truck travels thousands of miles every year, delivering holiday cheer to families up and down the country. (And Coke, it also delivers Coke.)

But if you’re anything like us, one of the first thoughts that might be running through your head upon watching that advert is how terribly unsuitable that vehicle looks. The sheer bulk of the HGV poses some serious logistic issues for the driver in manoeuvring it into tight spaces, and if he forgets to put the handbrake on when he parks it on a hill, it has the potential to cause complete devastation. Not very festive at all! And no, you can’t say it doesn’t because of magic. It still has to obey physics.

Here at Vision Techniques, we’ve got a few constructive suggestions on how the fleet manager (that’s you, Santa) can make life a lot easier and safer, both for his driver and the road users he encounters.

VT Banksman: Reversing Radar System 

The VT Banksman should undoubtedly be top of the Christmas wishlist. Should the driver become stuck in a particularly tricky spot and find the need to reverse the truck whilst navigating this tiny little Christmas town, he will definitely benefit from this piece of kit. With pedestrian safety in mind, the VT Banksman is able to register audio and visual cues that may not be in the driver’s range of vision or hearing and automatically apply the brakes, preventing collisions with people and static objects – such as the little boy stood directly behind the truck, marvelling at the lights. (Hugely unsafe.) With all these children running around excited to see the Coca-Cola truck, the VT Banksman is a vital piece of technology for registering potential hazards and preventing the risk of collisions when reversing.

trucks in snow

VT Brakesafe: Handbrake Failsafe System

The assumption at the end of the advert is that the driver will be leaving the cabin to hand out bottles of ice cold Coca-Cola to the children and families that have gathered on the street around the truck. But with a long drive behind him and all the excitement and buzz of Christmas welcoming him, it may be easy for him to get distracted and forget one of the most important safety features: the handbrake. The VT Brakesafe system will automatically apply the handbrake, should the driver forget to do so, preventing the truck from running away into the night and causing potential fatalities.

VT Ident: RFID Vehicle Control System

Our VT Ident system ensures that only authorised elves will be able to drive the Christmas truck. Designed to prevent vehicle theft, the Ident system requires authorised personnel to scan their identity tag before allowing access to the vehicle. Each worker’s tag can be programmed to allow them access to specific areas and controls, and the system can even help with fuel emission by taking control of the electrical and hydraulic functions of the vehicle.

And if we can do all that for Santa’s truck, imagine what we can do for yours! Here at Vision Techniques we’ve got a huge range of innovative vehicle safety products, many of which – like StopSafe and Brakesafe – we’ve designed ourselves. Click here to browse them right here on our site, or give our friendly sales team a call on 08455 911 434, and we’ll be only too happy to advise.

Vision Techniques certified in Australasia

Posted on 29th Oct, 2018 by Dominic Benabda

The range of safety systems offered by Vision Techniques have been given certification to be installed to vehicles in Australasia, with LSM Technologies being the safety company’s partner for distribution in Australasia.

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Are you driving on one of Britain’s most dangerous roads?

Posted on 2nd Oct, 2018 by Dominic Benabda

road

It’s an unenviable title that – of course – has been awarded to various stretches of roads over the years. It’s always been the subject of numerous studies from various organisations concerned with vehicle safety, and throughout all of the most recent of these studies, there are certain areas which are, unfortunately, highlighted as being consistently dangerous to navigate for motorcyclists, HGVs and regular road users alike.

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3 reasons why extra visibility is essential in summer

Posted on 26th Jul, 2018 by Dominic Benabda

lorry sunshine

On the whole, many would think that summer is the one time of year where visibility on the roads wouldn’t be an issue. That’s certainly true in one sense, but it’s not quite that simple! The darkness and wetness of winter is indeed where it can get really dangerous, but summer brings with it its own set of unique hazards, too. This week here at Vision Techniques, we explain more about these hazards, and what you can do to avoid them!

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4 year-old child shows appreciation for careful HGV driver

Posted on 20th Jun, 2018 by Dominic Benabda

cycling

The relationship between HGV drivers and cyclists is famously fraught, so it’s fair to say that it’s relatively rare to find a positive news story about any interactions. Happily, a recent story involving four year-old Rhonda Jones has broken with that pattern, garnering a fantastic reaction amongst the general public in just a matter of hours. In this case, the driver’s brilliant sense of vehicle safety was rewarded by an enthusiastic reaction, helping to explain the clip’s extraordinary popularity!

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Aggregate Industries astonished by Banksman Radar demonstration

Posted on 19th Apr, 2018 by Dominic Benabda

Vision Techniques were invited down to the Aggregate Industries Senior Leadership Conference to show the solution to reversing accidents, VT Banksman Auto Braking.

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How To Plan For The Dangers Of Driving HGVs In High Winds

Posted on 26th Mar, 2018 by Dominic Benabda

lorry in rain and high winds

HGV drivers are often expected to drive in all weather conditions, day or night, which means that many are well-practised at dealing with inclement weather conditions including rain, fog or even snow. However, high winds can also bring their own dangers for HGV drivers, and they’re even risks that can sometimes be underestimated by fleet operators. Since safety is our business here at Vision Techniques, we thought it worth taking a look in a little bit more detail about what’s involved, and which of our vehicle safety products can help.

What Does The Law Say About Driving In High Winds?

At the moment, there aren’t any explicit laws governing when HGV drivers can operate in extreme winds – this is left to the discretion of fleet operators themselves, falling under their legal obligation to protect the wellbeing of their employees. This means that driving lorries in high winds is known as a point of contention for some HGV drivers, who are often subject to pressure from their employers.

On the whole, they say, larger or national companies are generally responsible on making these sorts of judgements. Smaller companies, on the other hand, are often more willing to take the risks for the sake of making their deliveries on time. This is part of why there have been calls for the government to ban driving Heavy Goods Vehicles and other high profile vehicles in extremely windy conditions. Their high profile means that they are more vulnerable to potentially being blown over, causing damage to cargo but – more importantly – posing a serious risk to life. Even if winds aren’t quite high enough for that to happen, there is still the fact that HGVs consume far more fuel under these conditions, which is often a vital consideration for fleet operators.

What Fleet Operators Can Do To Mitigate These Dangers

fleet operators doing logistics

There are a number of measures that fleet operators can take to safeguard the wellbeing of their drivers, cargo, and other motorists. These include:

  • Using fleet tracking software to plan the journey of their drivers, avoiding roads that are high up or exposed (such as bridges or flyovers)
  • Similarly, make sure that this planned journey accounts for lower speed limits, lane closures or potential diversions
  • Make sure that drivers are aware and alert for all the ways that such conditions could affect other road users – particularly smaller, lighter or more vulnerable ones such as cyclists or motorcyclists
  • Empty, curtain-sided vehicles should have their curtains tied at one end to reduce the effect of side winds.
  • Consider how the winds might have an effect on the fuel consumption of the HGVs in question

Finally, it’s also wise to look at safety devices such as VT StopSafe or VT BrakeSafe, both of which can be instrumental for mitigating dangers posed by extreme weather. If drivers lose control of their vehicle, for example, or become incapacitated at the wheel, our very own vehicle safety product StopSafe can help the crew to being the vehicle to a safe halt without danger of the lorry jack-knifing on a windy highway. Meanwhile, BrakeSafe provides an extra layer of security for HGVs parked on hills or inclines.

Browse our full range of vehicle safety products here, or if you’d like to make an enquiry, you can always give us a call on 08452 873 155.

London Bus Runaway was ‘easily preventable’ with BrakeSafe

Posted on 23rd Aug, 2017 by Dominic Benabda

A rollaway in London city centre involving a London double-decker bus could have been prevented with new technology that automatically applies the handbrake.

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We do more than you think – VT Store

Posted on 10th Aug, 2017 by Dominic Benabda

VT Store

Our eCommerce store, VT Store, has a wide range of safety systems that can help fleet managers achieve FORS Bronze standards.

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Safety Day South: All You Need To Know

Posted on 16th May, 2017 by Dominic Benabda

Following on from the successful Safety Roadshow 2016, Vision Techniques will be doing more Safety Days in 2017. The first one of 2017 is taking place at the Thruxton Motorsport Centre on 15th June.

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