To highlight the importance of truck driver safety, SNAP Account have undertaken an in-depth analysis of over ten years’ worth of HGV road accident data across the UK. They recently published the data and we spoke to Mark Garner, Managing Director at SNAP for more information.
You have recently done a survey that shows drivers’ welfare is key to fewer accidents. Can you summarise the findings and what they mean for the sector?
With over 40% of HGV collisions coming down to driver error or reaction, our findings have brought to light how prioritising the welfare of truck drivers could significantly improve accident rates throughout the country.
To ensure drivers are able to work at full capacity, additional measures such as improving the availability of sufficient truck stop facilities should be a focus point, allowing drivers to take a break from the road and improve concentration while driving.
What elements should we include when we speak about welfare: is it just getting enough rest, etc.?
Driver welfare is a complex issue that requires careful consideration. Fleet managers must balance the demands of the haulage industry with the need to ensure the safety and well-being of their drivers.
This includes providing secure and comfortable places for drivers to rest during their journey. The quality, cleanliness, and availability of these facilities are crucial to preventing fatigue and maintaining driver health and safety.
Additionally, the use of secure truck parks, such as those offered on the SNAP network, can help mitigate the risk of cargo crime and further ensure the welfare of drivers.
What first steps can the sector take to improve drivers’ welfare?
Most importantly, the haulage sector needs to prioritise the quality, cleanliness, and availability of facilities available to drivers. For instance, with the Department for Transport’s funding for the improvement of these facilities, and the RHA’s facilities campaign, steps are being taken toward this goal.
A priority for the industry should be to utilise existing infrastructure to increase the availability of safe and secure parking options for drivers, in light of the high demand and the associated risks of parking in unsecured locations.
How can tech help?
Advancements in technology have provided fleet managers and drivers with solutions to many industry-wide problems. Routing systems have made live traffic and incident reporting widely accessible.
The use of bookable parking systems and apps, such as Intruck, provide drivers with accurate and up-to-date information about parking availability, reducing the stress and uncertainty of guaranteeing parking spaces during periods of high demand.
“Intruck has been specifically designed to support fleet managers and features over 5,000 truck stops across the UK and Europe, meaning drivers can plan breaks in advance and keep concentration on the road ahead.
Developments in security technology have also helped to reduce the threat of cargo crime, and combined with the added security of truck parks, these extra measures ease the anxiety for drivers when sleeping in the cab. ✷