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Fleet managers and those involved in fleet training for HGV drivers are encouraged to make plans to attend an important seminar that is taking place in Birmingham at the end of May (2013). The seminar is being sponsored by Brake, a road safety charity dedicated to reducing the number of accidental deaths caused by crashes on UK roads.

Brake is partnering with Brigade Electronics to present a seminar that will focus on blind spots and manoeuvring issues faced by HGV drivers. Blind spots and manoeuvring problems are frequently cited as main causes for crashes between lorries and cyclists, pedestrians, and motorbikes.

Fleet managers are urged to attend in order to receive helpful training they can then take back and incorporate into their own fleet training procedures. The seminar is scheduled for May 28th and should run for about a half day. It is just the latest in a series of efforts by various organisations to address the problem of accidents between cyclists and commercial vehicles.

According to SHD Logistics, recent statistics show 13% of all cyclist accidents occur as a result of collisions with commercial vehicles. When those vehicles are large vehicles like buses, coaches, and lorries, the obvious impact on cyclists is very serious. One in every six cyclists involved in a collision with a commercial vehicle dies because of the incident.

Industry experts insist the key to reducing the number of cyclist accidents is a combination of increased education among cyclists and ongoing HGV and fleet training as required by law. Training where blind spots and manoeuvring are concerned is especially important for cyclist safety.

Because the cyclist is so small by comparison, he or she is also very difficult to see for the HGV driver. To avoid accidents cyclists need to know how to safely proceed in the presence of HGV vehicles, while drivers need to learn how to better spot potential hazards.

Greater Awareness Is the Goal

With the logistics and commercial driving industries now facing a serious shortage of drivers, aggressive recruiting techniques are being undertaken by both training centres and recruiting companies. Organisations like Brake are committed to raising awareness among trainers and recruiters to encourage them not to overlook the cyclist issue.

Whenever a new driver enters fleet training, he or she needs to spend adequate time addressing the safety issue as it pertains to sharing the road. Sufficient time needs to be given during practical instruction to understanding how to manoeuvre a lorry in urban areas as safely as possible. Furthermore, drivers need to be reminded that the law considers bicycles to be legitimate vehicles on the road.

Hopefully the Brake seminar in May will achieve its intended goals of greater awareness and better fleet training. Every little bit that can be done to protect cyclists is good for all of us inasmuch as accidents will be reduced and more cyclists will be encouraged to take to the roads. For more information about the seminar, feel free to contact Brake.

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