New highways safety campaign to avoid driver ‘blind spots’ - The Bromsgrove Standard

New highways safety campaign to avoid driver ‘blind spots’

Bromsgrove Editorial 11th Mar, 2023   0

NATIONAL Highways has launched a new safety campaign amid concerns about drivers’ awareness of heavy goods vehicle ‘blind spots’ when overtaking.

Car and van drivers can underestimate limitations HGV drivers face in seeing passing vehicles.

In a recent survey commissioned by National Highways, while nearly three quarters of people said they take extra care when overtaking a HGV, 36 per cent said they did not know how many blind spots a HGV had.

Thirty-six per cent also admitted feeling nervous when passing trucks.

In the campaign video, supported by the Road Haulage Association, Logistics UK and other HGV bodies, drivers are being urged to ‘know the zones’ where HGV drivers have limited visibility.

HGV drivers have four areas of ‘limited visibility’ – at the front, rear and each side of their vehicle.

Lorries now have additional mirrors as standard which has improved driver visibility, but not completely eliminated ‘blind spots’.

Head of Road Safety at National Highways, Jeremy Phillips, said: “Safety is our number one priority, and we all have a role to play in keeping each other safe when driving.

“Our advice to motorists overtaking a HGV is simple; avoid tailgating the HGV when considering an overtaking manoeuvre and as the Highway Code states, do so quickly and safely to avoid staying in an area of limited visibility.”

Shannan Paterson has run HGV Training Midlands school since she was just 21. She rose to fame when she was featured in the BBC documentary Queen of Trucks and is keen to highlight to all road users the dangers of driving too close behind and in front of lorries.

The 28-year-old said: “Driving a lorry is very different to driving a car. You can’t see anything behind you other than the trailer. Your only vision is in front of you and in the side mirrors.

“I fully support National Highways’ campaign and would encourage drivers to give HGVs space. You have to go through a lot of training to legally drive a lorry but even professional drivers can’t know that someone is in one of their blind spots.”

The advice for drivers is:

• Know the zones – HGVs have four zones around them where their visibility is limited – at the front, back and both sides. If you don’t know where they are, you could be sitting in one without even realising.

• Pass quickly and safely

• Where possible, don’t linger next to a HGV.

The National Highways campaign will be aired on radio, featured on TV on demand, online video, social media, billboards and posters.

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