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Driving safety for Long Distance Drivers

Safety first – always!

It is very important for all drivers, especially long distance drivers to apply driving safety measures when on the road.

This week will see one example of the long journeys our drivers undertake.

Setting off today we have 2 vans heading to deliver goods in Germany before heading on to pick up in France and deliver back in Northern Ireland. These journeys can be long and very tiring to say the least.

With the journey being a mix of heavy traffic, long stretches of motorway and driving through the night it is essential that your well being is looked after on the road. We compiled a list of the top 5 tips to help keep driving safety your number one priority.

#1 – REST!

We can’t stress this enough! You should always build resting time into your schedule when telling a customer delivery times. This can be at the side of a road for 20 minutes, or an overnight stay somewhere if needs be. Always make sure when pulling in for a rest that you are within the law, you are not in any danger zones and you are highly visible to other drivers. Fines are enforced to drivers resting at fuel stations for more than 2 hours.

Building these times to rest into your time frame means the customer isn’t kept waiting while you sleep, and you are getting your well needed rest to keep going.

#2 – EAT!

This is important. It’s so easy when you’re covering a lot of miles to forget to feed yourself. You need to keep yourself well fuelled to keep your energy up. Every time you stop to refuel your vehicle, refuel yourself too. You can’t pour from an empty cup as the saying goes. Make sure you are well fed. Stack the lorry with snacks if you think it could be a while until your next stop.

#3 – ADHERE TO THE RULES

Depending on the type of vehicle you drive and what its working purpose is, there will be different rules. Please adhere to the rules which apply to you. Do not exceed the length of time you can legally drive for before a break, and before stopping altogether for the day. The image to the right is for driving a goods vehicle in the EU.driving safety

It is taken from https://www.gov.uk/guidance/drivers-hours-goods-vehicles/1-eu-and-aetr-rules-on-drivers-hours  this highlights the daily driving limit which is 9 hours (10 hours limited to twice a week) and entitlement of two x 45 minute breaks per 9 hours.

 

If driving for a week, the limit is 56 hours and a full day’s rest.

#4 CHECK BEFORE YOU DRIVE

Before setting off on any journey be sure to give your vehicle a good check. Check that tyres are road worthy, check your headlights are working and check that you have a working fire extinguisher (you never know). Safety is your priority when on the road. After stopping overnight or for a long break, check again.

#5 STAY VISIBLE – ALWAYS

When stopping at the side of the road, or anywhere for that matter, especially at night make sure you wear your high visibility vest. It is vital that you are seen. Sometimes a grey or white van can be hard to see in certain lights. So when getting out of your vehicle make sure you are well lit up.

Also, in the event of a breakdown be sure to place a bright coloured cone on the road so oncoming traffic will know u are ahead.

Be seen, be safe.

Driving safety is everyone’s priority on the road. Happy driving!

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