Posted on 20th Jan, 2018 by Dominic Benabda
Winter driving conditions aren’t exactly hotly anticipated by any average driver, but they can create especially potent risks for HGVs. The size and weight of HGVs means that they can pose significant dangers to drivers even in the best of weather, but these dangers are amplified in the winter due to conditions such as low visibility and exceptionally slippery roads. However, here at Vision Techniques, we’re pleased to be able to say that one of our flagship products, StopSafe can help to mitigate these dangers. Below, we’ll explain exactly how.
StopSafe is one of our most acclaimed products here at Vision Techniques, having proven itself many times to significantly reduce the rate of accidents. From the point of view of drivers and crew, our StopSafe system takes the form of a small red button on the dashboard, enclosed by a small cage to guard against the possibility of being pressed accidentally. If the driver becomes incapacitated – for example, if he or she loses consciousness – this button can be pressed by the crew members. StopSafe will then apply the brakes in a controlled, gradual manner, bringing the HGV safely to a halt.
The slow, controlled manner of braking implemented by StopSafe is a pivotal feature in successfully preventing accidents. If an HGV brakes too suddenly, it can all too easily lose control. This is dangerous enough when the driver is fully alert and capable of taking correctional action, but if the driver is incapacitated and unable to compensate for this sudden braking, the likelihood of an accident becomes all but certain.
This danger is even further amplified by slippery or icy roads, as it increases the likelihood of HGVs sliding or even jack-knifing on crowded highways. Jack-knifing is the name given to the phenomenon in which the HGV’s rear trailer swivels round on its joint, creating a forward momentum which forces the cab continually along the road. It’s an occurrence which is well known as the precursor to some of the most devastating types of accidents, and unsurprisingly records of these incidents are often found to spike in winter as roads become wetter and icier.
However, StopSafe drastically cuts down on the chances of skidding or jack-knifing, as the gradual manner of braking ensures that all tyres maintain their grip on the road. Driver incapacitation is a precarious enough situation already, and StopSafe allows the crew to direct all their focus on making sure an HGV doesn’t drift into other cars, without having to also worry about how to compensate for icy conditions.
StopSafe is just one of the products amongst Vision Techniques’ range which have all been designed to make highways safer for not just HGVs, but all other road users, too. Another of our system, BrakeSafe, is designed to prevent ‘rollaways’ – vehicles which move off as a result of being parked on an incline with the handbrake off. You can learn more about Brakesafe here, or alternatively view our range of Cyclist Safety products.
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