Due to the size and weight of an HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle), it would come as no surprise at the severe consequences it can cause if something goes wrong. That’s why, like most companies in most industries, haulage companies and departments have been integrating live-saving technology into these vehicles to assist drivers for about a decade now, and it has seriously changed the game for these qualified drivers.
We are Swannells Transport, a haulage company in Cambridgeshire, and we ensure our qualified drivers are healthy and safe to drive these large and heavy vehicles. Your safety is our main priority, so you can rely on us to have full concentration on the road and for any knowledge on how to keep the roads safe for you and me.
How to prevent accidents?
Before we get into the ground-breaking technology that has helped us save lives, let’s talk about the common and simple ways we can prevent accidents. Obviously, this will probably only concern you fellow HGV drivers, but it’s always interesting to know! A high percentage of HGV accidents are fatal, and this is because of its huge weight and potential. Furthermore, a lorry travelling just 50mph can tear straight through a house, so imagine what it could do to a car.
Although you should be medically checked during your training course, it is important to keep your company and the DVLA updated on your healthy self. Due to this profession, it is crucial you always check up on yourself, and genuinely look after yourself, to ensure you are fit to drive an HGV. Failure to do so can cause serious, life-changing accidents that probably won’t just affect the driver and the lorry itself.
Another thing to reconsider is road rage. Sure, you have a deadline, the vehicle you have is large and slowly responsive, and the car tail-gating you are probably getting on your last nerve. However, the thing you must remember is your actions can have serious consequences, and the safety of yourself and others should be your main priority, NOT the deadline. Think about this – which sounds less harmful? “You caused a pile-up because to try and be on time, but didn’t make it anyway” or “He was late because he was driving legally and safely”? Safety is key. As a result of this, get plenty of sleep, have a healthy meal before you leave and allow plenty of time for your journey.
Finally, just remember the basics – stay legal. Keep to the speed limits, check your mirrors and just take your time. You can really save lives.
Now… let’s talk about vehicle technology. HGV Safety Technology has helped and will continue to help make roads safer for drivers and nearby pedestrians. After all, Heavy Goods Vehicles are incredibly useful and saves huge amounts of time, despite their risks, so it’s not like they are going to be taken off of the roads anytime soon. According to a 2017 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Study, many of these technology breakthroughs could help prevent 63,000 lorry crashes a year. This includes:
Video-Based Safety Monitoring Systems
This technology is like a CCTV surveillance system for HGV drivers. Where cameras, sensors and other recording devices that allow the monitoring of a driver’s behaviour. Like a black box, the devices detect when a person is driving carelessly, whether it is speeding, not keeping within the lanes or just generally increasing the risk of an accident. The haulage company is then contacted, and the consequences are then dealt with. AAA estimated that this system can help prevent up to 293 deaths a year.
Lane Departure Systems
A mechanism designed to keep the vehicle in the lane, and to warn the driver vividly if the vehicle sets off course. Using a series of cameras and sensors, the device monitors the position of the vehicle in the road and if it suddenly goes off course, it has the intelligence to alert the driver via noise or sign etc. It’s incredibly clever and is predicted (by the AAA) to prevent up to 115 deaths a year.
Special GPS monitoring devices allow companies to check in on their driver before, during and after their journey. It detects their journeys and also alerts companies if their driver is speeding or driving carelessly, like a video-based safety monitoring system. With the added pressure, it’s much less likely an HGV driver would have the guts to drive in such a careless manner and will get the job done.
We know what you are thinking – this sounds a lot more dangerous than a person driving HGVs, however, they have turned out to be pretty successful. The process involves up to 3 lorries where they travel in a particular formation, where acceleration and braking will be controlled by the leading vehicle, whilst steering is controlled by the human driver. This highly-intelligent system will stop careless drivers on the road and will hopefully make people more alert when being around these type of vehicles.
Automatic Brake Systems
Also found in cars, these systems consist of highly-alert sensors that warn drivers of an impending collision. Whether it is occurring from the front, behind or side of the HGV, the device immediately and obviously alerts the driver to help prevent the collision. If the system doesn’t detect a response from the driver, it will automatically apply the vehicle’s brakes.
Air Disc Brakes
Brakes with air pressure and mechanical systems that help reduce a vehicle’s stopping distance. Although it is very vital that the driver is aware and responsive at all times, these brakes will take some pressure off of the driver, making them more relaxed knowing there is a back-up plan if something goes wrong.
There are so many more awesome, life-impacting technology that can help keep the roads much safer with HGV’s on their journeys. However, we felt that these past six devices were the most exciting and ground-breaking for the industry. To read more, you can check out our blog, “How New Haulage Safety Technology Has Saved Lives”.
As a haulage company in Cambridgeshire…
Here at Swannells Transport, whilst we have a passion for haulage and it’s tech, we are also a dedicated team of professionals offering a range of helpful haulage services. Let us help you! Contact us today or visit our Facebook page for more information about us!
Thanks for reading.