HGV drivers, idiots or what?

by Yorkshie Whippet   August 7, 2013  

Not sure if I've just suddenly become more aware or there are more incidents.

Last night I was out Bingley (Yorkshire) way starting the climb from the Keighley bypass towards Shipley. This double trailer HGV starts to pass as the road sweeps to the left. Now his cab and first trailer provided no issues, the second trailer however bounced of the curb. Thankfully I'd already slammed the brakes on, coming to an almost stop and hate to think what would have happened if I'd continued pushing 20mph or so.

A similar situation has happened on the last few rides.

Are there any HGV drivers out there that can justify not waiting 10 seconds or before the road goes into a dual lane?

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It seems that many HGV drivers are completely oblivious to the length of their vehicle and, in their heads, are driving nothing bigger than a Corsa.

posted by jedrek [4 posts]
7th August 2013 - 9:45

7 Likes

To be honest I don't really have much of a issue with hgv's, I ride a main road most days to work and the majority of issues come from cars trying to squeeze by. Most trucks wait until it is clear.

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posted by mrmo [1859 posts]
7th August 2013 - 9:56

6 Likes

I think that like other road users, most are ok, but there are few eye-openers, like you described. That one sounds scary for sure. I have been nearly wiped out in the same way by a driver that 'forgot' he was towing a caravan.

A while back on an evening club run, we had singled out on a busy-ish road out of Manchester. I was second wheel, and there was a BIG engine noise behind. I shouted to ensure that the fella in front stayed to the left. There was a pedestrian crossing island just ahead with bollards on, and next thing we get overtaken by a full-size tipper-style dump truck going FAST, which had crossed over the road and gone round the other side of the island, simply forcing two oncoming cars to stop while this enormous unstoppable force just thundered through.

I've seen boy-racers in Corsas pull off this stunt, but never something as big and hairy as that.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3705 posts]
7th August 2013 - 10:10

8 Likes

There are awful people piloting all kinds of machines; bikes, motorbikes, cars, vans , buses, lorries, taxis.

I tend to notice it more when a lorry driver screws it up around me as the consequences can be much worse, but I think the overall proportion of tools on wheels is the same.

posted by jstreetley [64 posts]
7th August 2013 - 10:23

4 Likes

I don't find HGVs too bad in general, although when you have a close call its far more scary than it would have been with a car, but what I have been noticing for a while now is that it seems people who drive for a living (taxis, vans, minibuses etc)are far more likely to do something dangerous than other car drivers. Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed this?

posted by pirnie [216 posts]
7th August 2013 - 10:52

6 Likes

I'm looking forward to all cars and lorries being fully automated. They are getting closer. It will take the idiot factor out of that side of the equation.
I'm not a fan of "Big Brother" but I think there is a case for "Black box & camera" in all new vehicles.
My new cam is arriving tomorrow.

posted by Mart [110 posts]
7th August 2013 - 12:53

6 Likes

In answer to your question, no, they are not all idiots, in fact they have a far higher standard of training than car drivers.

However the consequences of getting it wrong can be far greater, and given that a disproportionally high number of accidents involve HGV's, clearly more training needs to be done

Obviously the driver you encountered was an idiot, but don't tar all of them with the same brush - it's as bad as #bloody cyclists and doesn't help our cause

posted by 700c [717 posts]
7th August 2013 - 13:00

4 Likes

i think you notice the bad HGVs more because they present more of a danger when driven badly. higher standard of training? certainly, but let's not forget that in a sting operation in wales earlier in the year 80% of HGVs stopped* were breaking one law or another. over hours, talking on phones, defective vehicle, overloaded, no licence, no insurance...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-21436291

*may have been a selective sample, of course. but it's still pretty bad.

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7830 posts]
7th August 2013 - 13:44

4 Likes

You definitely notice HGVs putting you in danger, the heat, noise and air being pushed past you when they come close certainly sets the senses ringing.

However, most drivers are fairly decent and know what they are doing, they're just far more unsettling than other vehicles.

posted by farrell [1908 posts]
7th August 2013 - 13:48

7 Likes

HGV's are generally pretty good, the drivers do so for a living and are wary of losing their income. In my experience small cars and 4x4's are the worst.

posted by Woodface [13 posts]
7th August 2013 - 15:05

6 Likes

I ride to work daily, then drive the truck all shift, then bike home. I see problems on both side. I read a trucking forum by the name of trucknetuk. They tend to think cyclists are all Lycra wearing loony lemmings on a suicide mission, and that's the good ones. Some think cycles should only be allowed on the pavement & some never see any wrong in any trucker no matter what. Their biggest gripe is the cyclist that goes up the left side of the truck waiting to turn left, they seem to know it happens but cannot avoid crushing them it seems. I see no meeting of minds anytime soon.

posted by Fatbagman [21 posts]
7th August 2013 - 17:35

5 Likes

the most dangerous type of drivers are ones whom have no loved ones who cycle, I hear comments from members of my family constantly saying that they show cyclists a lot more respect since I started cycling, the more people there are cycling the more respect we will earn.

posted by billyman [142 posts]
7th August 2013 - 17:48

6 Likes

I remember cycling with child on child seat not so long ago and the conversation was on the lines of "That taxi driver was impatient. He didn't wait but instead cut past us. The lorry driver was good and waited for us." So for him for a while it was taxi drivers bad, lorry drivers good.

posted by m0rjc [36 posts]
7th August 2013 - 23:21

5 Likes

Fatbagman wrote:
I ride to work daily, then drive the truck all shift, then bike home. I see problems on both side. I read a trucking forum by the name of trucknetuk. They tend to think cyclists are all Lycra wearing loony lemmings on a suicide mission, and that's the good ones. Some think cycles should only be allowed on the pavement & some never see any wrong in any trucker no matter what. Their biggest gripe is the cyclist that goes up the left side of the truck waiting to turn left, they seem to know it happens but cannot avoid crushing them it seems. I see no meeting of minds anytime soon.

Unfortunately sometimes this place looks the same, if you switch the roles around. Cyclists good, everyone else bad etc.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3705 posts]
8th August 2013 - 9:29

6 Likes

posted by thebungle [115 posts]
8th August 2013 - 11:59

7 Likes

Mart wrote:
I'm looking forward to all cars and lorries being fully automated. They are getting closer. It will take the idiot factor out of that side of the equation.
I'm not a fan of "Big Brother" but I think there is a case for "Black box & camera" in all new vehicles.
My new cam is arriving tomorrow.

Would you agree that all bikes should be fitted with a tracker & camera in order to prove or disprove their negligence in an accident?

posted by thebungle [115 posts]
8th August 2013 - 12:00

6 Likes

thebungle wrote:
Mart wrote:
I'm looking forward to all cars and lorries being fully automated. They are getting closer. It will take the idiot factor out of that side of the equation.
I'm not a fan of "Big Brother" but I think there is a case for "Black box & camera" in all new vehicles.
My new cam is arriving tomorrow.

Would you agree that all bikes should be fitted with a tracker & camera in order to prove or disprove their negligence in an accident?

No need if Strict Liability comes in, as per latest from the lib dems, it will be assumed the driver is at fault unless he she can prove otherwise!

Bad idea, IMO, but I realise most here are in favour..

posted by 700c [717 posts]
8th August 2013 - 14:02

5 Likes

Strict liability would encourage me to fit a cam.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3705 posts]
8th August 2013 - 15:10

5 Likes

every one blames each other. We probably all have stories about bad HGV drivers, bad 4x4 drivers, bad horse riders and not forgetting bad cyclists.
Lets all enjoy and share the roads - it is so simple the solution to this great problem - education for ALL road users. Inforce tougher fines and longer sentances for those that are cuaght. It is not about segregation but 'care and share everywhere' Smile

posted by Gary rb [20 posts]
15th August 2013 - 13:26

4 Likes

@700c Lib dems have a good track record of following through on the policies they make so sure that will happen. Not like they have ever targeted demographic with promises before to gain votes. (Little off piste I know)

HGV drivers aren't usually too bad, I reckon the size just makes it seem worse. But like all have said small mistakes for them can equal big consequences.

Most delivery drivers vehicles are fitted with GPS nowadays for security/proof of delivery etc so maybe the cameras will be next as a measure for insurance claims?

Gary rb makes the best point I reckon.

My dad did say to me a while back he has been taking a lot more care around cyclists since I started, not to say he didn't before!

Sometimes this site seems a little bit like "Cyclists are in the right 100% off the time, drivers are always wrong and theres no such thing as road tax"

And just to equal the hating on drivers scales, some cyclist hating on -

The other day I saw a pair of cyclists both jump red lights onto a roundabout with traffic coming towards them, one of them un-clipped before as in her squeeze past a car she almost fell over, she'd lost all her speed and rolled along into oncoming traffic and she was looking at her feet to try getting herself clipped in. Thought she was gonna get herself fucking killed! She stopped the traffic whilst she got sorted out, her riding partner seemed completely un phased by it all. So its education on both sides, its not an issue of drivers are bad, its that people generally are stupid. I saw a guy try squeeze by a HGV today and he had his indicators on to turn left, I mean how stupid do you have to be to try pass a left turning vehicle on the left! And then the driver gets the blame! Which is quite frankly mad. Its truly saddening when you hear about people killed in such an avoidable way. Traffic lights don't take all that long to change, are people on bikes in such a rush to get through traffic to risk there own lives? Drivers and cyclists need education which is why the poorly executed niceway code could have been a good campaign.

I mean for example driving home the other night, I saw 4 cyclists without lights on, why not when coming up to winter can the gov not put an advert on clearly explaining the law on lights and then have a bit from halfords or evans or other major chain with an offer on for some good quality affordable lights?

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
15th August 2013 - 18:10

3 Likes

I see a lot without lights round Tyneside. Don't understand how people can put themselves at risk like that.

posted by paulfg42 [394 posts]
15th August 2013 - 21:33

3 Likes

We have all been caught short before, but if you KNOW your going to be in the dark then why wouldn't you have them

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
16th August 2013 - 10:16

3 Likes

Actually I find HGV drivers to be amongst the most considerate on the road. Most seem to understand why I would take the lane and seem happy to wait but equally I extend every possible respect to them. If it's practical and reasonable to let them past, I do so - I understand that they're driving a heavy unwieldy cumbersome bit of kit so I make their life as easy as possible. In return they seem to understand that I'm a tiny vulnerable squashy thing and they (mostly) extend a good deal of courtesy to me.

I've had a lorry patiently wait behind me past several traffic islands then practically climb the opposite kerb when overtaking. I'll usually take the lane and speed up when the road narrows, when it widens out again I'll slow down and wave them through. I always get a left-right-left flash of the indicators to say thanks.
Smile

I'm never stupid enough to argue with any of them or squeeze up the inside or attempt to pass while they're engaged in some complicated manoeuvre. Trust me, they can recognise good considerate riding in the same way that a cyclist can recognise good considerate driving and they'll appreciate it.

posted by crazy-legs [650 posts]
16th August 2013 - 20:59

3 Likes

In general I find the drivers of artics whether they are pulling trailers or not be more aware of vulnerable road users. They tend to give me more room when overtaking, allow me to clear pinch points and roundabouts etc and also allow me to clear a junction safely. I will always acknowledge this and also wave them through when safe and always get a flash from their indicator. The HGV drivers I struggle with are those who drive rigids. Maybe it is because these ones are driving vehicles below a certain weight and don't need any training or because their employers put unrealistic demands on them. But it is these ones who scare me the most.

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posted by giff77 [1175 posts]
17th August 2013 - 14:48

5 Likes