Goodwill to all– Including Delivery Drivers!
During the period from the Black Friday sales through to Christmas we are likely to see a lot more delivery vans on the roads and not only during the day as companies rush to ensure we all get our orders in time.
The stress and impatience levels tend to rise and with them, and tiredness, the chances of accidents are likely to increase.
Fatigue is already a bigger problem than drink driving, accounting for over 300 deaths per year, and according to the Government’s Think driving website about 40% of sleep-related accidents involve commercial vehicles and almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep-related.
With pressure on drivers to make more deliveries per day and to work more and longer hours what can road users do to help make the roads safer at this busy time of year?
It may be difficult when being pushed to get those deliveries out as fast as possible but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you start to feel sleepy, find a safe place to stop. Drink two cups of coffee or a high-caffeine drink and have a rest for 10 to 15 minutes to allow time for the caffeine to kick in.
Wherever possible it is better to reverse into driveways and parking spaces, wherever possible, when making a delivery so that you can come back out onto the road forwards and be able to see that your way is clear. 53% of all insurance claims are after a collision while manoeuvring and 1 in 4 deaths of pedestrians are as a result of being hit by a reversing vehicle.
Other road users
Remember that additional temporary drivers may have been taken on for busy pre-Christmas rush and they may not be as familiar with the vehicle or the delivery area as their regular colleagues.
Other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians following vans should remember that the driver will have a blind spot. Vans usually have a bulk head behind driver’s seat so this gives no chance of observation to the rear. The driver only has their mirrors or what they can see over their right shoulder.
If you see a van reversing out of a driveway or parking space and you are approaching from the left so you think they may not be able to see you consider using the horn to make them aware of you.
When you see a parked van you should try to establish where the driver is. Is the driver about to open the door or walk around from the front? Some drivers have more than 120 parcels to deliver each day, so they are always concentrating and may not see you coming.
So look under vans for feet, it could be an observation link that can help you anticipate some walking out from in front of the van.
Many UK residential streets, especially those with terraced housing, are older and narrower, and generally have residents’ cars parked along the sides. This can make it especially difficult for delivery drivers who may have to reverse up the street because there is no space to turn, so it can be helpful if you park as neatly and as close to the kerb as possible and fold in your wing mirrors to give them maximum space.
Finally, remember, patience is a virtue and the driver is doing their best to ensure people get their orders on time, so if you find your way blocked by a van making a delivery, especially in the evening, getting angry and impatient or not leaving them enough room to move on will not help anyone.