As an HGV driver, you’re no doubt aware of the dangers using your mobile phone whilst driving can bring and at Search we understand that it can be a vital tool for your job.
In fact, the HGV drivers that we work with have been asking for alternative ways to combat the need for using their mobile phone, so we have created this blog with tips to help you.
How are the laws changing for using your mobile phone while driving?
In 2018, there were 600 reported casualties including 29 deaths and 118 serious injuries- where a driver using a mobile phone was a contributing factor.
In Spring 2020, the mobile phone loophole that allows drivers to use their phone for anything other than ‘interactive communication’ is set to close. With this government ‘crack down’, it is now more important than ever that you break the habit.
What are the ways in which HGV drivers can avoid using mobile phones while driving?
So, you’ve recognised that you are guilty of using your mobile phone whilst driving and you are looking for a solution.
Follow these tips to help save your job, your life and more than likely someone else’s.
1 - Plan ahead to drive safely
49% of drivers that participated in the YouGov Aviva survey revealed that getting lost or being on an unfamiliar road had some impact on their safety.
Similarly, some HGV drivers we know say that they often feel that the fear of getting lost makes them more likely to use their mobile phone on the road.
Imagine how much calmer your journey will be if you look over your route and check for traffic updates or diversions beforehand. We know it’s obvious to say such ideas but it really can do wonders for your stress levels.
We understand that checking beforehand is not always an option and that there’s likely to be disruptions to your journey whilst you’re on the road. Luckily, there are some great apps out there that can help solve this problem.
We recommend the live map and tracking app Waze. Waze gives you real-time updates on the road that are controlled by both the app and other road users, it will also divert you to the safest and quickest route possible. What’s more, once it’s on your screen, you won’t need to touch it again.
2- Keep your mobile phone out of sight
Moving your phone out of peripheral vision can be a blessing. A study from the University of Texas at Austin revealed that those who had mobile phones within easy reach were less focused than those who didn’t.
So, to avoid the temptation to check your phone and to keep your focus on the road, why not try putting it in your glovebox, or if you seriously need to go ‘cold turkey’, put it in the boot of your car.
Again, this seems like some obvious advice but our drivers say that this is one that they often need to remind themselves of.
3 - Take advantage of your mobile phone’s driving features
A study by The Car Shop found that 31% of drivers were most likely to be distracted by a phone call and 21% were most distracted by notifications. Are you one of these drivers?
We have a less drastic solution for you.
If you can’t quite muster the courage to lock your phone away, most smart phones have a ‘do not disturb whilst driving feature’ that, when activated, will prevent calls, texts or any other notifications from appearing on your screen.
4 - Use your mobile phone wisely
HGV drivers are limited to 4.5 hours driving time before they are required to take a 45 minute break. So, using your phone during this time will only slow down the prospect of reaching your targets and reduce your productivity levels.
Fortunately, technology has advanced so far nowadays that you can now track how long you spend on your phone and set a time limit for its usage-how clever!
Save yourself from rushing through your tasks at the end of your shift by setting a screen-time lock on your phone. That way, you can manage the time spent on your phone effectively and prevent using your precious screen time whilst driving.
We would recommend setting the time for the combined length of your breaks, this will make your screen-time even more valuable.
How Search can help drivers
At Search, we supply HGV driving jobs for the largest companies in the UK. Our transport recruitment team is dedicated to finding the perfect HGV Driving job for you.
Driving jobs, especially HGV jobs, are in high demand, be sure to explore the great careers we have to offer, we would love to hear from you.
When HGV drivers need career or job advice they contact us, if you would like to do the same, our transport consultants will be more than happy to help! Get in touch with us by filling out a contact form.