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5 ways to stay safe as an HGV or LGV driver

The UK's HGV market accelerates 12.9% in 2021 to defy supply challenge, says SMMT.

Driving an HGV or LGV requires care and attention. It’s important to stay safe on the road and keep security front of mind.

HGV drivers have a lot to think about on every journey, so having a refresher course in safety can only help. It doesn’t matter about the difference between an HGV and LGV or which route you take. What matters is the safety of you, the driver, so buckle up and listen up.

Here are five ways you can stay safe behind the wheel of an HGV or LGV – and keep your cargo safe, too.

1 Take regular breaks

Whatever vehicle you are driving, tiredness is your enemy. Taking regular breaks helps keep you and other road users safe. HGV driving jobs often mean long hours behind the wheel, so plan your stops in advance. HGV or LGV drivers should stop every four hours (or every 200-ish miles) to stay alert and safe on the road. These journey times will also deter HGV or LGV thieves following you.

2 Plan your route

There are a number of variables when planning your route. Deadlines, weather and congestion are all key factors in your journey. And of course, you need to be clear about where you’re taking different HGV or LGV cargos. Factor everything in, and make sure your sat nav is working.

3 Stick to the rules of the road

Distracted driving, tailgating and speeding: these are all common on UK roads. As a professional driver, you’ll know how dangerous other drivers can be, so you need to drive as safely as you can. Even if you’re running behind schedule or your phone keeps ringing (next time, put it on mute!), your focus needs to stay on the road and your driving.

4 Keep different HGV or LGV cargo secure

Your role as an HGV or LGV driver is to get items from A to B. Making sure your load is secure means you’re more likely to arrive at your destination with those items intact. Check straps are tight and that your trailer is not overloaded. Trucking scams are on the rise and there has been an increase in the number of so-called ‘jump up crimes’ targeting different HGVs or LGVs (when thieves break into vehicles waiting at traffic lights or in congestion). So always keep your cab doors locked when driving and never leave your keys in your HGV or LGV when you’re not in it – even if it’s only for a couple of minutes. It’s just not worth it.

5 Try to park securely

Yes, this one is easier said than done. HGV parking options are woefully lacking. But when parking your HGV or LGV (especially overnight) you need a location that is as secure as possible. Avoid dark, unlit, isolate areas and try to park in a way that prevents access to the rear of the trailer. Look out for the Park Mark tick which shows an area meets high security standards and has been checked and vetted by the police.

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