Driver Saved by Seatbelt
An Asphalt contract haulier was heading along the A6088, loaded with 20 tonnes of Asphalt. Whilst travelling at approximately 55 mph, along a downward stretch of road, the driver failed to navigate a right hand bend, crossed a junction and exited the road between 2 trees. Prior to the incident the driver stopped to call a colleague, as his Sat Nav was trying to divert him down a farm track and this was his first time taking this route.
The vehicle exited over a grass verge and became embedded in the soft ground below, with the cab detaching from the vehicle body and rolling several times, before coming to rest about 15 feet away, with the driver left suspended by his seatbelt.
The driver managed to free himself from the vehicle and walk away from the wreckage, being very fortunate to only suffer a fracture to his cheekbone.
- The driver had held his class 2 licence for approximately 7 months
- The driver suggested the brakes failed on the vehicle, however the investigation concluded that they suffered ‘brake fade’ due to excessive use during the hilly, undulating stretch of road
- The driver was travelling the route for the first time and relying on his Sat Nav to get him to the delivery site
- Drug and Alcohol tests by the police were negative
- The driver was not on the phone at the time of the incident
- The driver was wearing his seatbelt, which certainly prevented him from suffering more serious injuries
- The speed limit for this road was 40mph
ACCIDENT / INCIDENT IMAGES
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LEARNING POINTS / ACTIONS TAKEN
How Could This Incident Have Been Avoided?
- Providing defensive driving training and monitoring driving styles
- By driving at an appropriate speed for the road conditions
Key Review Points:
- Wearing a seat belt and not carrying any loose equipment in the cab will help prevent injuries.
- Do drivers plan their journey, especially when on a new route?
- Are all drivers aware of the contributory factors to ‘brake fade’?
- Are all drivers trained in defensive driving techniques?
- Are driving styles monitored through on-road VFLs and reviews of telematic and / or tachograph information?
LEARNING POINTS / ACTIONS IMAGES
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