Stoke-on-Trent lorry driver forced to swerve as runaway wheel smashes into cab

A Stoke-on-Trent lorry driver was forced to take evasive action after a runaway wheel bounced across the motorway and smashed into the cab. Haulier Barry Proctor has told how one of his truckers was lucky not to lose control after being hit by the stray wheel. The terrifying incident happened while his HGV was travelling on the M42 towards Kidderminster during a weekday morning.

It caused the headlight to smash and a huge dent in the chassis but luckily no-one was injured. Now Barry, who has run Talke-based Barry Proctor Services for 35 years, is urging motorists to carry out basic vehicle checks before setting off on journeys.

Barry Proctor has run his own haulage firm for 35 years

He said: "The runaway wheel suddenly appeared on the carriageway and as a vehicle swerved to avoid it, the wheel crashed into the front of our vehicle causing damage in excess of GBP2,500. "If that wheel had hit a car rather than one of my lorries we would be talking about a fatality today.

"HGV drivers are required to carry out a recorded 10-minute walk around safety check, before every journey and vehicles are serviced at six weekly intervals.

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"If the public were travelling on a plane, they would expect rigorous checks to be carried out before every flight and it should not be any different with a road journey. "And, as the Government eases the lockdown restrictions, the road networks will return to high levels of traffic and vehicles such as caravans and camper vans, which have been left standing for months, will return to our roads."

Stoke-on-Trent lorry driver forced to swerve as runaway wheel smashes into cabThe lorry suffered GBP2, 500 of damage

Figures recently released by Highways England have shown that more than 46,000 items were found on motorways and major A roads over just 10 months with traffic officers having dealt with everything from a washing machine, sofa and king size mattress to a double-glazed door, garden sheds and a ship's mast. Richard Leonard, Highways England's head of road safety, said: "We always want our roads to be as safe as possible and for everyone to enjoy summer safely - but drivers need to play their part to make that happen.

"A brief 'walk-around' and carrying out a few simple safety checks before setting off on tyres, oil, water, lights and fuel could prevent a frustrating breakdown on the journey or something far more serious happening. "With many vehicles not having been used for many weeks during lockdown or even over the winter, it is crucial that drivers are confident their vehicles are safe and loads secure."

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As well as checking loads are secure drivers are urged to:

Check tyres

Prior to setting off on a long/significant journey, check your tyre pressures are suitable for the load and the condition of your tyres, including the spare. Look out for cuts or wear and make sure the tyres have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, which is the legal limit .

Check engine oil

Use your dipstick to check oil regularly and before any long journey, and top up if needed.

Take your car back to the garage if you're topping up more than usual.

Check water

To ensure you have good visibility, always keep your screen wash topped up so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen

Check lights

If your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, you are putting yourself and your family at risk.

In addition, light malfunctions can be a reason for your vehicle to fail its MoT

Check fuel:

Before setting out, check your fuel levels and make sure you have enough to get to your destination.

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