HGV Driving Safety Tips
12 December 2022
A banner image for the HGV driving safety tips blog.

HGV jobs offer exciting career opportunities that can take you places. Not only do they provide the chance to see the world, but they also offer significant financial rewards and job security. With so many advantages, it’s no wonder why HGV jobs are becoming increasingly popular among job seekers.

When it comes to safety, however, all drivers have a responsibility to ensure their safety as well as that of other road users. Here are some of the top driving safety tips for those operating HGVs:


Be aware of your surroundings and anticipate what other drivers might do

Being an HGV driver is a tough job, but it’s also incredibly important for the economy. When you’re behind the wheel of an HGV, you are responsible for the safety of everyone around you and yourself. That is why it’s crucial to be aware of your surroundings at all times.

It’s vital that you stay vigilant and keep your eyes open at all times. Make sure you check the mirrors regularly and have a quick look around before turning or changing lanes. Don’t let yourself get distracted by anything else while driving, such as checking your phone, eating, or playing music too loudly. If something does go wrong, be prepared with the correct safety procedures to take action and ensure everyone involved is safe.

Good observation skills are also essential for HGV drivers in order to anticipate dangers that may arise on the road and react quickly to them. Always be aware of how fast you’re driving and never exceed speed limits – this will give you more time to react if necessary.


Take regular breaks to avoid fatigue

Most HGV drivers are aware of the dangers of driving while fatigued, but many still do not take the necessary precautions to avoid it. It is crucial for HGV drivers to take breaks when they feel tired and to get enough rest before undertaking a long journey. There are several reasons why fatigue is such a problem for HGV drivers. First of all, HGV vehicles are large and heavy and require a lot of concentration to drive safely. Secondly, HGV drivers often have to work long hours, sometimes driving through the night. This can make it challenging to stay awake and alert at the wheel.

There are several ways in which HGV drivers can combat fatigue. First of all, they should make sure to take regular breaks, even if they do not feel tired. It is essential to stop and rest every two hours or so for at least 15 minutes. Finally, HGV drivers should try to get enough sleep before setting off on a long journey. If possible, they should aim to get eight hours of sleep the night before driving.

By taking regular breaks, HGV drivers can ensure that they remain alert and focused while on the job. This not only has a direct benefit to their own safety but also helps to keep other road users safe from potential accidents caused by driver fatigue. It is, therefore, essential for all commercial drivers to adhere to their country’s legislation regarding rest periods and take regular breaks when out on the roads.


Make sure that your loads are secured and balanced

HGV drivers must ensure that all loads are correctly balanced. Unbalanced loads can have serious consequences, such as reduced vehicle stability and control, increased fuel consumption, and damage to the axles or tyres due to uneven weight distribution.

To make sure that a load is correctly balanced, HGV drivers should pay close attention when loading and unloading their vehicles. They should carefully check the weight distribution of each package to make sure it won’t cause any problems on the road. Drivers should also know how much cargo they can safely carry in their vehicle by consulting the manufacturer’s guidelines or regulations in their area.

Furthermore, cargo securement is essential for the safe transport of goods by HGVs. Drivers need to make sure that the load is well secured before they start their journey. This can prevent unexpected shifting of cargo, which may cause instability and potential accidents.


Do not use your mobile phone while driving

There are many reasons why HGV drivers should not use their mobile phones whilst driving. Firstly, it is illegal. In the UK, it is against the law to use a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving. This includes making calls, sending texts or checking social media. If you are caught using your mobile phone whilst driving, you could face a fine of £200 and six points on your licence.

Secondly, using a mobile phone whilst driving is distracting. It takes your attention away from the road and can make you less aware of your surroundings. This can be extremely dangerous, especially when HGVs are involved as they are much larger vehicles.

Thirdly, using a mobile phone can affect your reaction times. If you need to brake suddenly or swerve to avoid an obstacle, your reaction time will be slower if you have been distracted by your phone. This could lead to serious accidents.


Keep your vehicle well-maintained and carry out checks before a long journey

HGV drivers and companies are responsible for ensuring that their commercial vehicles are in good condition and properly maintained. This is not only important for the safe operation of the vehicle but also to prevent costly downtime and repairs on long journeys.

Pre-journey checks should be carried out regularly before the driver sets off as part of a routine maintenance schedule. The driver should check oil levels, coolant levels, tyre pressures and wear, brake fluid levels, headlights and indicators, fuel tanks and filters, battery charge level and all other relevant parts of the vehicle. It’s also essential to make sure that any paperwork relating to these checks is up-to-date.

A well-maintained HGV will have fewer breakdowns and, if it does need to be serviced during the journey, will require less time in the workshop. This can save the driver and their employer both time and money.

Regular maintenance is also important for ensuring that vehicles meet emission standards. HGV drivers are required by law to ensure their vehicles comply with environmental regulations such as those relating to exhaust gas emissions from diesel engines. Failing to do this could result in hefty fines or even prosecution.

Finally, keeping a vehicle in good condition may help avoid accidents on long journeys due to faults that could have been avoided with proper servicing and maintenance. A well-maintained vehicle is known to handle better under all driving conditions, helping reduce incidents of road traffic accidents involving an HGV.


Contact our Recruitment Experts for HGV Jobs

Need help finding a HGV driving job? Get in touch with our experts at Pure Staff. With offices in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, and Worcester, we’re well-positioned to help job seekers find HGV driving jobs across the UK.

Contact us today to find out more about our services and how we can help you find a driving job that matches your requirements.

Refer a Friend to Pure Staff and receive £200! Click here for details