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Runaway HGV Narrowly Avoids Causing Pile Up In Staffordshire

Posted on 3rd May, 2017 by Dominic Benabda

Runaway lorries are an unfortunately all too common problem on today’s roads, despite the plethora of technology aimed at preventing them. Recently, one such event occurred on the A50 in Staffordshire, in which a runaway lorry crashed into the central reservation of a dual carriageway. Luckily there were no fatalities, or even any minor injuries. However, this was almost entirely down to luck, and it could have very easily been a much more tragic event.

What Caused The Incident?

At this stage, no one is quite sure. In the only video documenting the incident, it begins as the HGV is already moving down the slip road. We can infer that the HGV driver parked the HGV and left the cab shortly beforehand. The video starts as he is running after the rolling vehicle while it gathers speed further down the slip road.

It eventually rolls onto the busy dual carriageway of the A50 – across two lanes of high-speed traffic – before crashing into the central reservation and causing three vehicles (including a learner driver) to screech to a halt with their horns beeping. It’s not immediately obvious the HGV is unattended, leaving the drivers halted uncertainly in an incredibly dangerous environment as they wait for it to begin moving again.

The video ends here so it’s not entirely clear what happened next, but we do know that there were no deaths or injuries due to the driver’s misadventure. However, this was down to sheer luck on this occasion; the event had the potential to induce a large-scale pile-up, potentially threatening the lives of dozens of people. This danger was especially tangible given the high-speed environment in which the crash occurred. The drivers concerned had only a few moments to react and slow down – an especially impressive feat for the learner driver – while cars behind them will have had a similar timeframe to do so as well.

Our BrakeSafe Technology

vt stopsafe

At Vision Techniques, this is exactly the sort of scenario that our products are designed to prevent. Specifically, our BrakeSafe system works by audibly notifying the driver of their neglect of the handbrake. We know how easy it is to get distracted by in-cab systems or concern for the trailer or cargo of the HGV, especially if there’s a problem. Unlike most similar systems, which only give the audible warning, our BrakeSafe technology goes one step further by actively engaging the handbrake on behalf of the driver, minimising the risk of runaway vehicles.

This cutting-edge system is entirely autonomous and isn’t even dependent on the engine’s ignition being engaged, so that drivers and fleet operators can be absolutely certain that safety is guaranteed at all times. The reliability and all-encompassing functionality of the system eliminates any chance of vehicle rollaway, helping to prevent accidents just like this one.

At Vision Techniques, safety is paramount to what we do. Our BrakeSafe system is just one amongst our broad product range, each one of which is designed to save lives. You can browse it in its entirety here, or have a look at one of our case studies to see how we’ve helped businesses just like yours.

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