TRUCKERS travelling the county’s highways are appealing to car drivers to give them a wide berth during National Road Safety Week.
While the theme for the week has been to highlight the dangers surrounding driver distraction as a major cause of death and serious injury in the UK, Staffordshire truck drivers are also appealing to car drivers to give them a wide berth or risk serious injury – particularly as wintry weather is forecast this week.
In a poll conducted by Staffordshire haulage recruitment specialists Employ Recruitment UK who supply over 150 drivers, 55 per cent said their biggest safety problem on the roads were motorists who didn’t give their trailers enough room at junctions or roundabouts.
With an average car weighing 1.5 tons and a laden articulated lorry weighing up to 44 tons, the tremendous size disparity means any collision between the two is likely to result in serious, even fatal injuries.
Employ Recruitment UK supply drivers for some of the biggest national firms including Sainsbury’s Stone and Stoke depots, Marstons Breweries and DHL, and managing director Sadie Alcock, said: “Statistics show that truck drivers are generally much more careful on the roads than motorists, but in 2010 over 7,000 accidents involved an HGV with 9,686 casualties of which 263 were fatalities*. (*Department For Transport)
“We ensure our drivers undergo rigorous safety checks, that their licences are checked every three months and that they undertake training in key areas including risk awareness, bad weather driving, vehicle safety and the effects of tiredness and fatigue. The same cannot be said for motorists.”
In an effort to help motorists and lorries share the roads safely this winter, Employ Recruitment has issued the following five tips:
- Trucks have lots of blindspots. Lorries have significant areas around them where cars and cyclists are difficult to see. If in doubt, stay safe and stay back when approaching them at junctions, roundabouts or slow moving traffic.
- Trucks make wide turns. At junctions/roundabouts be aware that lorries that are turning left may actually be in a right hand lane in order to complete this manoeuvre so do not drive up their left hand side even if this lane is clear.
- Trucks are like sails. Be aware that in high winds lorries can get caught in the gusts and could be blown into your path, so give them a wide berth.
- Trucks take time to stop. If you’ve overtaken a truck be careful not to ‘cut-in’ to close in front of them as a fully loaded lorry can take the length of three football fields to come to a stop from 60mph.
- Trucks pull-off slowly. Be aware that lorries will pull off slowly from junctions/uphill and be patient. Don’t be tempted to overtake illegally as saving seconds won’t save lives.
Anyone interested in becoming a driver with Employ Recruitment UK Ltd should call their head office on 01335 346800 to find out more.