Campaigning law firm Thompsons Solicitors is encouraging UK HGV drivers to take advantage of trade union support to reduce the risk of accidents or injury to themselves and other road users. 

This follows the results of a survey which revealed a significant rise in the number of HGVs involved in fatal accidents

The survey, which was conducted by the Campaign for Better Transport, discovered that, in 2016, HGVs were almost seven times more likely than cars to be involved in fatal accidents on minor roads, double the number recorded in 2007. On A roads and motorways, HGVs remain around three times more likely than cars to be involved in fatal road crashes. 

Having worked closely with trade unions across the UK for more than 90 years, Thompsons Solicitors is urging HGV drivers to join a trade union, if they haven’t already, and to use the additional support and training they provide in a bid to create safer driving conditions on British roads.

"HGV and lorry drivers spend long and tiring hours on the road, so it’s vital that their employers take every precaution to ensure their safety and that of other motorists."

Richard Johnson
of Thompsons Solicitors

Unite, one of the leading trade unions Thompsons Solicitors works with that supports professional drivers, offers a ‘DriverCare’ service to members, which provides Driver CPC training courses built around recognised industry standards to ensure HGV drivers remain safe on the roads. 

The union has also developed a drivers’ charter in which it details eight demands on behalf of all professional hire and reward drivers for employers to meet. These include expecting drivers to be paid a minimum of £520 for a 48-hour week and an annual increase in pay, for drivers to receive a minimum of 30 days paid holiday per year and for workplaces to have good health and safety standards.  

“HGV and lorry drivers spend long and tiring hours on the road, so it’s vital that their employers take every precaution to ensure their safety and that of other motorists,” said Thompsons Solicitors’ road safety expert, Richard Johnson. “This includes making sure they work a reasonable number of hours, have adequate rest facilities and have access to training. 

Richard continued: “All motorists have a part to play in reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries caused on our roads, but employers in particular have a significant responsibility to ensure their drivers operate to acceptable standards and have a means to learn how to be safer when behind the wheel.”