10 Ways To Stay Safe Driving HGV’s & Avoid Trouble/Accidents
Your security & safety as a HGV driver is important to your colleagues, family, friends & company you work for. Here are ten ways to ensure that you are always safe when on a job:
1. Ensure your cab doors are locked whilst driving – Criminals may try to gain access to the cab when you stop at traffic lights or junctions. You should remain diligent and know how to use anti-theft systems and use them when they are available.
2. Overnight parking should only be in approved locations where possible – Avoid dark, unlit, isolated spots. Look for the ‘Park Mark’ which denotes an area that has been checked and vetted by the police, maintaining high security standards. Try to park in a way that prevents access to the rear doors of your trailer.
3. Plan your route ahead of schedule (If Applicable) – If you do not have defined routes, change your route as much as possible to avoid any recognisable patterns that can be spotted by vigilant criminals.
4. Always remove your keys and lock the doors when leaving your vehicle unattended – Even if it’s just to pay for petrol or a quick delivery, it’s never worth the risk of having your load stolen for a quick turn of the key.
5. If you’re asked by the customer to deliver to a different address, always check with your Transport Office & Employer first to make sure the change is legitimate – Avoid the popular ‘round the corner’ scam. This is very important for your own safety and the security of the load.
6. Where possible, travel in convoy with other trusted drivers, when delivering high value or vulnerable loads – It’s easier than most think from someone to get hold of a stolen uniform and pretend to be someone they’re not. They are more likely to be deterred if you’re not on your own. Also, distractions such as supposed punctures or accidents, trailer door supposedly left open and someone pretending to ask for directions are less likely to occur if someone else is present to scrutinise what’s going on.
7. Use a vulnerable Load Card to discourage opportunist bogus thieves – It won’t stop the professional criminals out there, but might deter the opportunist.
8. If unfortunately you realise there is a theft from your HGV in progress, don’t leave your cab – It’s not worth it, lock the doors, start your engine, switch on the lights & sound your horn to attract as much attention as possible. Doing so may deter the thieves as no thief want’s the attention in the act, and of course call the police as soon as possible.
9. Keep all documentation about your load contents out of sight – Don’t talk to anyone at service stations or any pit stops along your journey about what you’re delivering , don’t give criminals the opportunity.
10. When returning to your vehicle after a break or drop, always check for any signs of tampering – Check your doors, seals, straps & curtains. If they have been tampered with, immediately notify your Transport Office & Employer before investigating further.
Overall, stay diligent, alert, use common sense and enjoy your future journeys.
Written By Nicholas Gordon.