Join us as we explore the top causes of commercial vehicle accidents, looking into exactly what horrors await our drivers on the roads this Halloween and how they can keep extra vigilant.
The darker evenings, miserable weather and unpredictable congestion will be familiar experiences for drivers across the UK as we near closer to Halloween, leaving them facing far too many tricky driving hazards than treats.
But what exactly are those dangers out there, and what are the top roadside horrors that drivers need to be aware of so they’re not left in the dark?
Let’s find out.
For most parts of the UK, rural roads have a set 60mph limit, however in the Direct Line and Brake Report on Safe Driving, 68% of drivers said they feel it’s acceptable to drive above the speed limit on rural roads, and 48% of drivers saying that they had driven faster than the speed limit on a single-carriageway rural road in the past year.
The 60mph speed limit, as are all UK speed limits, there to keep all road users safe, and whilst it is not there to be broken, it also doesn’t always mean you need to drive at 60mph as a minimum.
This is because due to their use by vulnerable road users and the traditional bendy conditions of many country roads, 60mph is rarely a safe speed to travel.
Rural roads are also typical for having loose debris such as mud and leaves on the road surface, meaning that in wet and icy conditions stopping distances are much greater. For commercial drivers who go over these too quickly, or attempt to dodge the debris at high speeds, could cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle, end up in the path of an oncoming vehicle or running off the road.
The biggest scare is a bridge strike
According to Network Rail, it’s estimated that 2,000 bridge strikes happen each year in the UK, which is where a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) crashes into a railway bridge or into a bridge over a railway.
Not only do they cause costly delays and disruption to passengers, train operators, local road users, and of course, the business itself, but Network Rail also highlight that each strike costs an average of £13,500 for repairs alone, with journey delay compensation to passengers amounting to approximately £13m per year too.
The uneven, sudden drop of a pothole can put a lot of stress on a commercial vehicle’s tyres and suspension, and whilst most modern models are robust by design, there’s always chance that an unexpected pothole could damage a tyre to the point of puncture, or in some cases even break them entirely.
Larger and deeper potholes could also cause damage components underneath a vehicle, and if a driver notices anything unusual with a vehicle after a hitting a pothole, it’s important to get it checked out as soon as possible.
Tired driving is more than just a nightmare
Drivers across the UK may already be familiar with the motorway signs stating “Tiredness can kill, take a break”, alongside the recent increase in electronic motorway signage encouraging drivers “Don’t drive tired.”
According to Motorway Services Online, these signs are usually placed two miles before a service area to remind drivers to take a break without encouraging them to stop somewhere unsuitable, though the main reason for these signs is simply because road accidents caused by tiredness tend to involve high speed crashes because when a driver falls asleep behind the wheel, they can’t brake to avoid impact.
In other words, the more tired a driver feels, the longer it will take them to react to a situation, and the more dangerous the results can be.
Highways England state that accident rates involving debris on the road surface have reached a five year high, with over 24,000 drivers claiming to be involved in accidents involving loose items on the road.
From agriculture and farming debris to deceased animals, trees and vegetation, these obstructions can cause serious hazards for anyone operating a vehicle.
What’s more, as we near closer to the colder seasons, we’re likely to see more mud, water and flooding on the roads, so it’s important to be extra vigilant, wary, and never leave a vehicle unattended on a tight bend or hill whilst an obstacle is nearby.
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What’s more, we also hold PAS 43, ISO 9001 and NNHS Sector 17 accreditations, helping to ensure that all our recoveries and repairs are completed to the very highest industry standards.
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