Road accidents are a common occurrence and in the winter festive season, when nights are longer and drivers undergo more stress, accidents are more likely to happen. In the run up to the festive season, the likelihood of driving whilst drunk or driving whilst tired are the most common causes of road accidents. They could potentially happen to anyone, whether in a car, on a bike or as an unfortunate pedestrian in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Tackle Driver Fatigue
For business owners that utilise commercial vehicles, it is important to allow your drivers plenty of rest time on long journeys. Government figures show that 40% of sleep-related accidents on the road are caused by commercial vehicles and this could lead to dangerous accidents.
Failing to take drivers rest needs into account could lead to a car accident that could damage your company’s reputation more than a late arrival would. Other drivers involved in the accident may seek compensation against your company, as it was your vehicle that was involved in the accident. For a long journey with a commercial vehicle, drivers should be allowed a 15 minute rest break for every 2 hours of the journey.
Speed is another concern which needs to be addressed – especially by commercial drivers. It is common practice to calculate a schedule for your drivers that accounts for the speed limits of all roads utilised in the journey, but in the winter, when the roads may be iced over and slippery, the vehicles will need to drive slower. Schedules should reflect this and it is important that you stress the importance of road safety to all your drivers.
Focus on the Road
It is a common scenario for business managers or employees to take important phone calls whilst driving. Whilst this is perfectly legal, provided a hands-free kit is in operation, reaction times are reduced by up to 50% as a result. Advice from the government’s THINK! campaign is to not use mobile phones whilst driving at all so encourage your drivers to park up safely before answering a call.
Failure to do this could again attract unwanted damage claims toward your company and also damage your reputation.
Keeping vehicles regularly checked is another things which you should do to ensure the safety of your drivers and all those using the roads. Make sure all vehicles are given a regular service and encourage your drivers to check vital fluid levels and other important components on a regular basis. Any problems with vehicles should be reported immediately and you should have a strict policy in place to have these rectified immediately.