At James Hart of Chorley, we understand there’s a lot to take in when it comes to HGV driving. Safety is critical, which is why we put such a premium on it. There are generally two sides to safety as a HGV driver. The first is general theory – things like avoiding driving while on the phone and understanding safe braking distances.

The second has to do with your own individual safety, and the things you can do to make overnight stops and long journeys that little bit more secure. Unfortunately, HGV drivers are often the targets of criminals who want to steal cargo – and sometimes vandals who simply want to cause upset or damage, too.

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that sometimes HGV drivers have to drive through or stay overnight in places that aren’t always considered 100% safe – so it’s therefore important to understand how to stay as safe as possible in such circumstances. To help you, we’ve put together three simple tips to start you off:

1) Maintain awareness

Even if you’re off-road, it is important to be acutely aware of your surroundings – particularly if you have parked up for the evening. When walking to-or-from your vehicle, keep your head up out of your phone, and walk around the entire end of a parking space instead of risking walking between vehicles.

Be vigilant of others while in your HGV, too. If others come to your window while you are sitting in a car park, wave them on. It’s not unusual for gangs to want to lure drivers from the cab to steal anything from keys to antifreeze.

2) Remember the “seatbelt trick”

If you find yourself having to stop for a rest (or an overnight stay), ensure that you come to a halt in a public area which is well-lit. This will help make your vehicle less of a target. When you are ready to turn in for the evening, ensure all doors are locked and any valuables are hidden.

For extra protection, here’s one the James Hart driver training team swear by: take your seatbelt and wrap it around the handle of the cab door. Finish the wrap with the buckle facing towards you, pull it tightly and plug it into the seatbelt clip. This means that, even if your locks fail or someone manages a stealth attack on them, any would-be thieves will be unable to open your door.

3) React accordingly

Unfortunately, some attempted thefts simply can’t be prevented. If you find your truck being robbed while in the cab, think safety first. While instinct might tell you to jump out and stop the attempt, this could result in you getting hurt – or worse.

No cargo is worth your safety – instead, you should work on drawing attention to the theft. Start the engine, turn on all lights (including hazards), and lean on the horn. When safe to do so, contact the police and explain the situation.

Find out more

In an ideal world, HGV drivers wouldn’t need these common-sense tips. Unfortunately, thefts, vandalism and attacks do happen – and it’s important to understand how to react safely. This is covered in our detailed HGV training courses, and if you’d like to know more, simply contact us today.