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An HGV driver who stopped his lorry on the M25 back in January (2016) is lucky to be alive. Video footage captured by his side camera clearly shows that he came within millimetres of being crushed by an oncoming HGV when he stopped to check a blown tyre on the hard shoulder. The oncoming vehicle was so close that had the stopped driver not bent over to check his tyre, he may have been struck and killed. The accident would have been a case of HGV theory becoming deadly reality.

According to the Daily Mail, the driver pulled onto the hard shoulder after one of the tyres on his trailer blew out. Rather than exiting his lorry from the passenger side, the man got out using the driver’s side door, walking along the side of the trailer against oncoming traffic. Video footage shows him being passed by traffic nowhere near the hard shoulder.

Just as the driver reaches the rear of the trailer, he bends down to inspect his tyre. At almost the same instant an oncoming lorry passes by within millimetres. The left side of the lorry is clearly over the white line separating the roadway from the hard shoulder. The truck is so far over in fact that the video footage appears to show its wing mirror flying off after hitting something on the stopped truck. You can see the wing mirror flying through the air as the oncoming lorry passes.

Safety Is Most Important

A fair amount of the HGV theory that student drivers learn while in training relates directly to safety. While the question of how to exit a broken down vehicle on a busy motorway is not addressed specifically, HGV theory does address the idea that a driver’s actions dictate his or her level of safety on the job. Drivers are encouraged to adopt the mentality that safety is most important. It is more important than making a delivery on time or saving fuel.

The scary incident on the M25 is a classic example of why HGV drivers have to think safety as a top priority. Traffic management safety expert Steve Twamley made this very point while explaining to the Daily Mail just how lucky the driver in the video is to be alive. Twamley’s company released footage of the video along with a very direct statement reminding drivers that they should never exit their vehicles on the ‘live’ side when stopped in traffic.

We are extremely grateful that no one was injured in this near-accident. We have seen the video, so we know things could have turned out much worse. We join other industry voices in reminding HGV drivers to adopt a mindset of safety. That moment HGV theory becomes reality could be the moment that it is too late to think about being safe. It is far better to implement safety best practices at all times to avoid the kinds of near misses seen in the M25 incident.

Sources:

  1. Daily Mail – https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3399038/Incredible-moment-lorry-driver-defies-death-millimetres-HGV-thunders-past-checks-burst-tyre-hard-shoulder-M25.html

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