In this second part of our 2-part series, we talk about more areas that can cause safety issues for commercial drivers and the ways in which you can advise your employees, in order to help keep your insurance premiums low by avoiding risks.
Safety stands as a fundamental pillar for any business and is safeguarded by various laws and regulations through the Highway Code and the Road Traffic Regulations Act. It’s crucial that everyone, from drivers to company managers, not only recognises but also fulfils their safety responsibilities.
It may be no surprise to you that 9 out of 10 weather-related deaths and serious injuries on the roads take place in the rain. Severe weather conditions can affect both steering and braking and topping distances will increase significantly in severe weather. Poor vehicle roadworthiness and poor vehicle maintenance can put a driver at risk in severe weather.
So, what can you do to help?
Exceeding speed limits is illegal, and it is one of the top causes for road traffic incidents in the UK. Speeding increases the risk of a crash because it reduces a driver’s reaction time. The higher the speed a vehicle travels, the greater the likelihood of serious injury or death if there is a crash.
Speed limits change – depending on the road type, size, and weight of the vehicle, and when towing a trailer/caravan. As well as causing legal and financial implications, speeding vehicles can damage a company’s brand reputation and image.
Drivers who speed will be increasing a vehicle’s running costs and impact to the environment. Drivers who speed can be disqualified from driving or have their licence suspended and should be aware that penalties when driving a company vehicle will reflect in their private vehicle’s insurance premium review.
How can you implement good practice to your employees?
While there’s no legal requirement for operators or drivers of vehicles under 3500 kgs to conduct pre-use checks, companies are obligated under the Health & Safety at Work Act and the Road Traffic Act to ensure that their vehicles are safe and fit for their intended purpose.
Unsafe vehicles contribute significantly to road incidents and can pose a serious threat to the safety of other road users.
Drivers hold the responsibility of making sure the vehicle they operate is in good condition and defects in safety-related components such as lights, brakes, and tires can lead to penalties for both the driver and the company.
Although vehicles under 3500 kgs typically follow the manufacturer’s maintenance specifications, this may not be sufficient for certain applications. In such cases, drivers must actively report defects as they become known.
Companies are also duty-bound to ensure that all equipment, including vehicles, is well-maintained and suitable for its purpose, with effective maintenance systems in place.
Unroadworthy vehicles often result in road incidents, causing delays and inconvenience for other road users.
As well as helping to keep your insurance premiums to a minimum by helping to reduce potential risks, these will also help you reduce other costs, improve operating conditions and ensure you have safe and legal vehicles and promote wellbeing for your fleet of drivers.