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Truck driving is not an easy job even under optimal conditions. When the weather gets nasty and traffic picks up, driving a truck can be out-and-out dangerous. In light of an increase in accidents and the pending onset of winter, authorities are urging drivers to be cautious around gritters this winter. More than a dozen people lose their lives every year after colliding with one of the winter workhorses.

Experts say the biggest problem with gritters is speed. A gritter cannot exceed 40 mph and still do its job effectively. Unfortunately, tailbacks are unavoidable in heavy traffic. What officials want drivers to understand is the danger of overtaking or inner-taking without exercising proper caution.

Gritter drivers say it is not uncommon for cars and lorries to inner-take them by way of the hard shoulder. This is especially dangerous because drivers who do this are risking collisions with stationary objects, broken down cars, or the gritters themselves attempting to exit at a junction. If drivers do need to pass a gritter, they should always overtake to the right.

Another problem, officials say, is that drivers will use the hard shoulder in order to prevent their cars from being struck by salt. The average gritter, when operated properly, can treat three lanes of a multi-lane roadway simultaneously, which is why you regularly see them using the middle lane. But driving on the hard shoulder to avoid salt is asking for trouble.

Truck Driver Should Know Better

Warning drivers about the potential dangers of inner-taking or overtaking gritters is necessary just to remind everyone at the start of a new winter season. However, we believe truck drivers should know better. Anyone who has been part of the truck driving profession for more than a couple of months should appreciate how difficult it is to drive a gritter in inclement weather. Among all drivers, they should be most aware of the realities of dangerous inner-taking or overtaking.

Winter makes safely traversing UK roads more difficult. This winter, we urge you to do your best to be safe. That means slowing down, leaving extra distance between your vehicle and the one ahead, giving yourself more time to stop, accelerating gradually, turning more gently and, above all, being more mindful of other drivers on the road. The more cautious we are during the winter, the better off we will be.

Winter Training for Fleets

Before concluding this blog post, we want to remind our corporate customers that the HGV Training Centre offers winter training for fleets. As an approved provider of CPC training, we can customise a training programme that will both prepare your fleet for the winter season and enable your drivers to accumulate hours toward their CPC requirement.

Winter driving is more challenging, but there is no need for it to lead accidents with your trucks. Give your drivers an extra bit of training that will make them safer by preparing them for the weather ahead.

Sources:

Peterborough Today – https://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news/transport/video-drivers-warned-about-undertaking-gritters-following-serious-crash-with-hgv-1-7048705

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