In the recent annual report on UK road casualties, published by the Department for Transport (DfT) in September 2023, it is stated that 1,711 road fatalities occurred across Great Britain in 2022, with a further 55 in Northern Ireland. And 220 of those road fatalities involved an HGV and 214 involved an LGV.
This shows that as an industry we can still do more – many of these incidents are likely to have been preventable. It’s important that we continue to work with our LGV and HGV drivers to improve safety on the roads.
One area of safety that should be addressed is driving with excessive speed.
There are many things that companies and transport operators can do to help their LGV and HGV drivers or training candidates to manage their speed. Here are five of the quickest tips you could share with your employees.
1. Drive to the conditions, not the speed limit: Just because a road has a particular posted speed limit, it doesn’t necessarily mean that drivers have to drive at exactly that speed. At busy times of the day or in poor weather conditions, it’s important to slow down.
2. Make use of telematics: Vehicle technology makes it possible to monitor vehicle and driver activity. Some can be used to help manage speed. Look to your telematics system for tell-tale signs of unnecessary fast driving, which could include excessive fuel usage and heavy braking. Harsh braking may not only indicate speeding but can be a sign of poor observation. Combined, this can create a potentially dangerous situation.
3. Take visual cues from the environment: In residential and school zones, remember that 20 is plenty. The same applies on country or smaller winding roads that can become slippery and aren’t necessarily built for larger vehicles.
4. Get to the heart of the matter: If it does look like speeding is an issue in your operation, look into why this is the case. Is there a planning issue that’s creating time pressures for your drivers? Is there a behavioural issue that needs dealing with? Training programmes can be helpful if this is the case. In fact, Driver CPC Periodic Training can be an ideal opportunity to address the topic of speeding with drivers.
5. Regularly assess drivers: Bad habits creep into many areas of life. Nowhere is that more the case than behind the wheel of an HGV or LGV. Regular assessment and remedial training will help keep bad habits like speeding at bay, improving safety on the roads.
Learn more from the RTITB Driver CPC Consortium about addressing speeding through high quality and engaging Driver CPC Periodic Training.
Sarah Brown wrote this blog for Road Safety Week 2023. To find out more and sign up to take part, click here.
Driver CPC and ADR Manager, RTITB
Sarah has been working at RTITB since 2010 as part of the auditing team and customer support team. In 2020 she was made Driver CPC & ADR Manager. She is always thinking of new ways to make improvements within the logistics and transport industry across the UK, Ireland, and beyond. Sarah is also a qualified ISO9001 Lead Auditor and is currently completing her Transport Manager CPC qualification.