National Highways issues advice on overtaking HGVs in new safety campaign - what is the advice

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National Highways has launched a new safety campaign, amid concerns about drivers’ awareness of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) ‘blind spots’ when overtaking.

A survey commissioned by National Highways found that while nearly three quarters of people said they take extra care when overtaking a HGV, 36% said they did not know how many blind spots a HGV had. The survey also found that 36% of drivers also admitted to feeling nervous when passing trucks.

In the campaign video, supported by the Road Haulage Association, Logistics UK and other HGV bodies, drivers are being urged to ‘know the zones’ where HGV drivers have limited visibility. HGV drivers have four areas of ‘limited visibility’ - at the front, rear and each side of their vehicle.

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Lorries now have additional mirrors as standard which has improved driver visibility, but not completely eliminated ‘blind spots’. Head of Road Safety at National Highways, Jeremy Phillips, said:

“Safety is our number one priority, and we all have a role to play in keeping each other safe when driving. Our advice to motorists overtaking a HGV is simple; avoid tailgating the HGV when considering an overtaking manoeuvre and as the Highway Code states, do so quickly and safely to avoid staying in an area of limited visibility.”

Road Safety Minister Richard Holden said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world, but we are not complacent and are always looking at ways to make them safer. Making motorists aware of HGV blind spots will help prevent road collisions and support our ambitions of building a safer road network.”

Road Haulage Association Policy Lead, Tom Cornwell, said: “At RHA, we believe road safety is key. The roads are the workplace of our industry and we want commercial vehicle operators and all road users to be as safe as possible.

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“We were pleased that National Highways reached out to us to input into this campaign which will raise awareness of limited areas of visibility with large vehicles and will educate other drivers.”

Chris Yarsley, Senior Policy Manager - Road Freight Regulation at Logistics UK, said: “The safety of our members, and all other road users, is of paramount importance to Logistics UK and this new campaign is an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of the hazards when interacting with HGVs on England’s motorway and major A-road network.

“We welcome safety initiatives like this because it will encourage motorists to think about overtaking lorries safely without lingering in zones of limited visibility.”

What is the National Highways advice? 

The advice for drivers is:

• Know the zones - HGVs have four zones around them where their visibility is limited - at the front, back and both sides. If you don’t know where they are, you could be sitting in one without even realising.

• Pass quickly and safely.

• Where possible, don’t linger next to a HGV.

The National Highways campaign will be aired on radio, featured on TV on demand, online video, social media, billboards and posters.

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