Bridge strikes occur when drivers with high or wide vehicles strike a bridge and cause damage to the infrastructure. 2013/2014 saw a staggering number of 1708 bridge strikes in the UK. According to Network Rail, this is a 9.9% increase compared to the previous year.
Bridge strikes are a safety risk to drivers, pedestrians and train passengers and staff alike. Since critical strikes cause rail and road traffic delays as well as repair costs for vehicles and infrastructure, they are expensive for truck owners and rail operators. Here are some tips on how to avoid bridge strikes:
1. Know your vehicle dimensions
Before you set off, make sure that you know your vehicle height and width by heart. Please note that your truck’s height can vary slightly according to the adjustment of the fifth wheel and if the the trailer is loaded or unloaded.
2. Plan a truck-safe route
Use CoPilot Truck to plan a route that is safe and compliant on truck-legal roads. First, enter your vehicle dimensions in the app. Second, plan your trip. CoPilot will calculate the best route available for your vehicle. Make sure that you use a sat-nav that is built for truck drivers and not for cars and takes into account your truck’s size.
3. Check traffic signs
(Image from https://www.gov.uk/guidance/traffic-sign-images)
Last but not least, make sure you always check for traffic signs, white lines on the road for arch bridges and other warnings when you approach a bridge.
Here you can find a good practice guide for truck drivers to avoid bridge strikes https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/28626/bridgestrikesprofdrivers.pdf