Driving in high winds can be challenging for most. But brings with it very specific challenges to those driving HGV’s.
If you are a fleet manager responsible for HGV drivers, you will need to consider how you manage the risks to your drivers of driving an HGV in high winds.
Here are some areas you may want to consider.
Keep up to date with the weather forecast
Plan ahead and make sure you are up to date with the weather forecast so that you know if high winds are expected. You can then take steps to manage your drivers and their workload accordingly.
The Met Office state that they produce forecasts for the National Highways agency, and that special alerts are available for those who drive high sided vehicles.
Ensure drivers understand the impact of load
The load of the vehicle being driven can have an impact in high winds. Those with a light load, or empty trailer may be more susceptible to being blown off course or blown over. Loads may also vary as drivers’ complete pick-ups and deliveries, so this is another thing drivers will need to be aware of in high wind conditions.
Respond to weather conditions
Respond to the weather conditions and enable drivers to drive in a safe way.
From rerouting to avoid roads which may be more exposed to high winds. To adjusting expectations and ensuring drivers do not feel under pressure to drive if they cannot do so safely. They may for example have to drive at lower speeds so be able to complete fewer tasks in a day. Right the way through to delaying or cancelling journeys if the weather forecast dictates.
The National Highways Agency have also put together some general tips for travelling in high winds which may be worth referring to.
Driver safety policies
Driver safety should be at the forefront for any fleet manager. As an HGV driver, you will likely want to discuss with your employer whether they have a policy relating to driving in high winds. And if so, to understand exactly what the policy is and how will they respond in the event of a weather warning for high wind.
In our experience of dealing with trucks which have blown over from an insurance perspective, we often find that the incident will involve injury to the driver. As well as substantial publicity if the incident involves a branded HGV which results in significant traffic disruption. If there is driver injury, then it is highly likely that there will be focus on you as an employer being able to evidence driver training, as well as health and safety policy around driving in dangerous conditions from third parties such as the police or lawyers.
At Anthony Jones we specialise in insurance for the transport and logistics sector – from commercial truck and HGV insurance through to the insurance needs of large fleets. So, if you have any questions about your insurance needs or how you can minimise the risks you may face then get in touch with us today. We’re always happy to help.