Driving a lorry carries a big responsibility, both for the driver and other road users. Safe driving and correct positioning on the road is also vital to help traffic flow correctly.
Watch out for pedestrians
At all times, maintain awareness of the kerb, not getting too close, particularly in pedestrianised areas. Correct use of signals and mirrors will help to protect the safety of others.
Hold correct position
Ensure you maintain correct positioning on the road. Don’t drive in the hard shoulder of a motorway, and don’t mount the kerb or enter cycle or bus lanes during operational times. Constantly scan the road ahead to be aware of need to change lanes using correct procedures (mirror, signal manoeuvre) and identify hazards as soon as possible. This will also help other road users to adapt their position ahead of the potential obstacle.
Also ensure awareness of lane markings. Not only will this help to choose the correct lane for your journey, it will also ensure the best possible flow of traffic, particularly at busy times.
Understand the logistics of your vehicle
Larger vehicles will require prior planning, for example wide vehicles will occasionally need to straddle lanes and routes will need to be planned if driving under height-restricted tunnels or bridges.
When driving round bends, consider the sharpness of the bend, the speed you need to travel so you maintain control and the visibility before and through the bend. Also ensure close attention to weather conditions and act appropriately. Check forecasts ahead of starting your journey Uneven, slippery or icy conditions can have a huge impact on judging the best speed to safely navigate the bend.
Driving a lorry requires a bit of help from signage, using chapter 8 chevrons and other livery, for example. Always use a trusted and approved supplier such as https://www.vehiclechevrons.com/.
Overtaking other vehicles
When overtaking, you will inevitably move your lorry closer to oncoming traffic. The added risk of this means you need to ensure enough space to safely overtake and then return to the correct lane position. Ensure you have enough speed in your vehicle to overtake quickly, yet within the speed limit. You will also need to recognise that you need more space than you would in a car or van.