It’s common for drivers to find themselves in convoys when vehicles from the same company, or working for the same customer are going to the same destination.

Whilst they feel it’s more sociable to drive together, convoy driving is full of danger for them, the other drivers in the convoy, additional road users and potentially pedestrians and cyclists.

The increased risk of drivers being involved in a serious collision

Not only are drivers breaking the law due to not having sufficient stopping distance between them and the vehicle in front (Highway code Rule 126). It displays the behaviour of drivers that tailgate.

When drivers tailgate two unsafe factors occur. Firstly, they cannot see what’s ahead of them, other than the vehicle in front and secondly, their ability to stop without hitting anything, such as the vehicle in front is significantly reduced.

Driving in a convoy, driving too close and being in a “chain” of vehicles increases the drivers’ chances of a serious collision with two or more vehicles due to:

  • The significant reduction of being able to see the hazards ahead
  • Not being able to easily anticipate what other road users may do
  • Relying on the reaction of the driver in the front of the convoy for hazards that lay ahead
  • Potentially becoming ‘invisible’ to other road users, as other drivers don’t always see all the vehicles in the convoy – for example if they are waiting to turn out of a side road

Penalties and Fines for driving in convoys

It is a driving offence when ‘failing to have full view of the road and traffic ahead’. Driving this way carries penalties/fines:

  • Maximum for Goods Vehicles/PCVs £2,500
  • Maximum discretionary disqualification
  • Minimum of 3 penalty points.

Should one of your vehicles be involved in a collision that caused Death by Dangerous Driving, the driver is eligible for a maximum prison sentence of 14 years, unlimited fine and disqualification of driving for a minimum of 2 years.

Driver behaviour

We all know people die in road collisions because they knowingly or unwittingly do something that is risky or dangerous. A serious collision can put your drivers’ at risk of death, serious injury and loss of licence or prison if the collision is deemed to be Driving Dangerously or one that causes Death by Dangerous Driving.

In a collision, the difference between death and escaping unharmed can be just inches.

For those reasons, it’s important to remind drivers to be visible on the roads at all times, to increase the space around them and other road users, to give themselves and others plenty of time to react to the hazards on the road.

Driving with space around the vehicle will reduce the risk of being involved in a serious collision with two or more vehicles.

Road Skills Online Professional Development Plan

We believe that regular driver training can help to improve driver’s behaviour on the road, helping you to save ££££’s on your bottom line. One of the monthly Toolbox Talks in our Professional Development Plan is No Convoys, it’s designed to:

  • Remind your drivers to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front
  • Help them to understand how tailgating increases the risk of being in a collision
  • Help them reduce the likelihood of being in a collision whilst driving one of your vehicles

Let our online driver training help you deliver Toolbox Talks to your drivers with ease. It’s a great tool and at £5.00 or less per user, per month, it won’t break the bank. What’s more, you can get a Free Trial to test it out, just click below to get started.

Save time, save money and keep your drivers safe on the road, it’s a win-win for everybody.

Sources |Gov UK – Driving penalties |Highway Code Rule 126

Published | June 2020