5 tech features to improve road awareness

By Kirsty Quartley, Garmin Automotive Product Manager

The damage that lorries and HGVs can cause when involved in road accidents in the UK are often greater when compared to road cars, simply due to their sheer size and power, so more needs to be done to protect all road users. Innovation in technology is one way of helping drivers become more aware of their surroundings and Garmin PND Product Manager Kirsty Quartley explains how.

1)      In the UK, HGVs account for less than 10% of traffic on motorways, yet they are involved in over 52% of motorway fatalities. It’s important to remember that due to the size of the vehicle, drivers are at a disadvantage visually but much can be done to improve the vision of blind spots. For example, Garmin’s latest dēzl 570 and dēzl 770 sat navs with large 5 and 7-inch glass displays, work in tandem with the optional Garmin BC 30 Backup Camera so drivers can better spot vehicles, pedestrians and other obstructions behind the lorry when reversing.

2)      We know that larger vehicles are prone to mishaps on the road if routes are not meticulously planned but some can be more serious than others so precision planning is key. This process can now be automated so drivers are given a customised route suitable for the size, height and weight of any given vehicle. This means hazards such as low bridges, narrow roads or steep inclines can be avoided, saving you time, fuel, money, and the wrath of other road users who would otherwise have been affected. The dēzl 570/770 range also features Easy Route Shaping which lets you easily change your route to include preferred roads or cities, just by touching the screen.

3)      Lorry drivers are known for having to endure lengthy motorway journeys and we all know the safety warning “Tiredness can kill. Take a break”. Drivers can now take that reminder literally at a time and place that is convenient for them with in-built points of interest and exit services sourced from Foursquare on their sat navs. If you’ve ever wanted an excuse to park up and get some rest, this makes it easier than ever.


4)      Last year the Department of Transport increased speed limits for lorries on single carriageways to 50mph in a bid to reduce the risk of dangerous over-taking. It can be easy to forget the designated speed limit so many sat navs now come fully loaded with real-time reminders and a safety camera database so you can focus on driving without breaking the rules. Garmin Traffic can give details about the situation, such as how many minutes of delay to expect and if there are any possible detours. It can even confirm whether or not you are on the fastest route.


5)      What can be seen as simple manoeuvres, such as changing lanes on the motorway, can be multi-fold for a lorry driver. To provide guidance and assistance, the dēzl 570/770 sat nav range provides active lane guidance technology that helps drivers navigate interchanges safely and with plenty of time to spare, even offering a photo view as you near the exit so you know what you’re looking out for. Knowing what is up ahead in the comfort of your cab will make your drive as smooth and safe as possible.

* 1) Research by Metropolitan Transport Planning Unit