Safely sharing the road with HGVs
Videos of crashes or instances of dangerous driving involving HGVs and cars often crop up on social media and online, so in this blog we provide our top tips to ensure you are driving safely around large vehicles.
Line of sight
Tailgating is something that is extremely dangerous no matter what the vehicle, but getting too close to a HGV means the driver won't be able to see you. Large vehicles have huge blind spots, so if you're behind and can't see their mirrors then they can't see you. It's also important to give a little extra space when stopped on a hill, as the HGV may roll back slightly.
The larger the vehicle the more room it will need to make a turn or use a junction, particularly if this is in a residential area or on narrow roads. Therefore, if turning left, a
HGV may need to swing wide or use the oncoming traffic lane to complete the manoeuvre safely. Of course, the driver will wait for a suitable moment to do this, for example, when there is no traffic coming in the opposite direction. However, never try to squeeze past or think it's ok to quickly zip up the inside to overtake.
HGVs need to have larger stopping distances than cars. Cutting in front of the vehicle quickly may mean the driver won't have enough time to slow down before hitting your car, so you are likely to be initially in their blind spot.
Patience is a virtue!
For safety reasons, large vehicles have lower speed limits than cars and may use technology to cap the speed they can travel at. By getting too close or impatient, or using your horn, will only cause you to drive more aggressively and increase your chance of having an accident – it certainly won't make you arrive at your destination any faster. If you are going to overtake, use dedicated overtaking lanes, or only where it is safe and legal to do so.
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