As a delivery driver, you are faced with unique safety risks that other drivers don't have to think about. Whether you're working in the UK or elsewhere, it's important to take extra precautions to stay safe on the road and this UK Courier Survival Guide will help you do just that. You'll learn tips and tricks on how to stay safe whilst driving, as well as strategies for avoiding common dangers.

With this guide, you'll be able to navigate the roads confidently and with peace of mind, no matter where your job takes you. So buckle up and let's get started!

What are the risks of being a delivery driver?

There are a lot of hazards you may encounter as a delivery driver. You could be involved in a traffic accident, or your vehicle could break down and leave you stranded on the side of the road. Couriers also face the risk of being attacked whilst they're on the job, whether they are in the truck or getting out to drop off or pick up deliveries. Another risk that delivery drivers face is exposure to the weather, because most delivery jobs take place outside. If you're working in a place that has extreme weather conditions, it's important to make sure you have the right kinds of clothing and equipment to keep yourself safe.

Preparing your vehicle for safety

One of the best ways to stay safe whilst on the road is to make sure your vehicle is equipped with the right safety features. These include things like a high-strength seat belt, an airbag for the driver and passenger, anti-skid brakes, and a collision warning system. These are important features to have regardless of your job, but they're especially important for delivery drivers.

Some of the best safety features for delivery drivers are blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and a rear-facing camera. Blind spot monitoring can help you see cars in your blind spot so you can change lanes safely and avoid a dangerous situation. Lane keep assist can help you stay in your lane, even if you're tired or distracted. And a rear-facing camera can help you see pedestrians and other obstacles behind you so you can avoid hitting them.

Stock up on emergency supplies. You never know when you might get a flat tyre or run into another type of car trouble. Make sure you always have a full supply of tools and emergency supplies in your vehicle just in case.

Stay connected to your vehicle. Most newer vehicles come with a wide range of connected services. These can help you monitor the health of your vehicle in real-time and save you a lot of headaches down the road.

delivery driver having an accident
Accidents happen!

Safe driving tips

  • Drive at a safe speed. Driving at a speed significantly above the speed limit puts you in greater danger of having a car accident. This is particularly true on rural roads, where unexpected obstacles like slow tractors or livestock are more common.
  • Always wear your seatbelt. Not only is it illegal to drive without your seatbelt on in most countries, it's also one of the most effective ways you can protect yourself in the event of an accident.
  • Don't drive distracted. Driving with any level of distraction can increase your chance of getting into an accident. This includes things like using your phone, eating or (believe it or not; yes it happens) applying makeup whilst you're behind the wheel.
  • Obey traffic rules. It sounds simple, but failing to obey the rules of the road can be a serious danger to yourself and other drivers.
  • Take regular breaks. You're more likely to make mistakes behind the wheel if you've been driving for several hours without rest.

Staying alert whilst driving

  • Keeping your mind clear and focused behind the wheel is really important for staying safe on the road.To do this you should:
  • Take frequent breaks - it's important to take breaks whilst you drive to stay alert. If you're driving long distances, you should plan to take a break every couple of hours. This will give you time to rest and stay alert, so you don't fall asleep at the wheel.
  • Eat small meals - eating large meals whilst you're on the road can be distracting, especially if you have to eat whilst driving. It's best to park up and eat small meals, more often, to avoid getting full too quickly.
  • Don't drive whilst you're ill - If you have a cold or are sick, it's best to avoid driving until you're feeling better.
  • Avoid driving when you're tired - If you start to feel tired whilst driving, it's best to find a place to park your vehicle and rest for a bit.

Strategies for avoiding dangerous situations

Prepare for the worst. Even though you hope that nothing bad happens whilst you're on the road, it's important to be prepared for it. Make sure that you have a first aid kit in your car, as well as an emergency kit with a fire extinguisher, flashlight, high viz jackets and a hazard triangle; some of these are a legal obligation in some parts of Europe and quite rightly too. You should also have a full tank of fuel before you start driving, as well as a fully stocked car kit.

Avoid driving at night. Although some deliveries may take place after dark, you should always try to avoid it. it can be more dangerous, and you are several times more likely to get into an accident than if you were driving during daylight.

Park your vehicle safely at night. Avoid parking on isolated roads, in dark areas, and even in poorly lit parking lots and make sure your vehicle is well secured and the alarm system (you do have one, don't you?) is fully activated.

Dealing with aggression from other drivers

Aggressive drivers (in other words, idiots) are a big danger on the road. Fortunately, most aggressive drivers are relatively easy to spot. Once you've identified an aggressive driver, there are a few steps you can take to stay safe:

  • Avoid eye contact. Eye contact can be seen as a challenge by an aggressive driver. Instead, focus on looking straight ahead and keeping your expression neutral.
  • Maintain a safe distance between yourself and the car in front of you. If an aggressive driver is trying to cut you off, this will give you some extra room to avoid a collision. It will also help you avoid getting boxed in.
  • Slow down and keep a cool head. If an aggressive driver tries to trigger a confrontation with you, take a deep breath. Calmly and deliberately driving to a safe location will help you avoid an unnecessary conflict.
  • Stay calm - If you get upset, the driver will become even more aggressive. Instead, stay calm and collected and try to defuse the situation.
  • Be courteous - Stay polite and courteous even if the other driver is being rude. This can help de-escalate the situation.
  • Don't make things worse - avoid making aggressive gestures or getting out of your vehicle.
  • Change lanes - If another driver is trying to cut you off, try to change lanes and avoid the aggressive driver.

If you're alone, avoid making gestures to the other driver. This can only escalate the situation. If the other driver starts to get out of control, take the following steps:

  • Again, stay calm: It is important to stay calm and in control of your emotions if you find yourself in a dangerous situation. If you are too angry or upset, you might make the situation worse.
  • Get out of the situation: If possible, get away as quickly as you can. Drive away from the scene, park your vehicle, or call the police. The longer you are in the situation, the more likely it is that things could escalate.
  • Stay safe after the incident has ended: Even if the situation is over, you still have work to do. Make sure to get help if you need it, whether it's medical attention or assistance from the police.

Staying safe whilst getting out of your vehicle

There are a few things you can do to stay safe whilst getting out of your vehicle:

  • Always park your vehicle in a safe, well-lit location whenever possible. This will make it easier for other drivers to see you.
  • Keep your doors locked. Even when you're parked in a safe spot, make sure your vehicle is locked. This will help keep you safe from potential vehicle thieves; of which there are many.
  • Keep your eyes peeled. Scan your surroundings regularly whilst you're stopped in your vehicle. This will help you spot potential dangers in advance.

Deliveries often happen after dark, and you want to be careful whilst you are out on the road, as well as when you are in your vehicle. Make sure that you are dressed appropriately for the weather, and that you have your lights on when you are out making deliveries. A high-viz jacket should be kept in your cab at all times so that you can put it on before leaving your vehicle during poor visibility.


As you can see, driving as a delivery driver comes with a unique set of challenges. Luckily, most of these challenges are avoidable. As long as you stay vigilant and make safety a priority, you can stay safe whilst driving.

Now that you understand the different risks and challenges of being a delivery driver, it's time to put them behind you. With this guide, you'll be well equipped to navigate the road and stay safe throughout your delivery shift.

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