The importance of fleet safety

With Brake’s Fleet Safety Conference taking place in Birmingham today, we review the importance of prioritising fleet safety.

An everyday activity for a lot of workers in the UK, driving is actually the most dangerous work activity that most people do, and it contributes to far more work-related accidental deaths and serious injuries than all other work activities.

Millions of vehicles (lorries, vans, taxis, buses, emergency service vehicles, company cars, motorcycles, bicycles) are used for work in the UK and all these workers face risks on the road whilst they are carrying out their jobs.  They can also create risks for everyone else on the road.

The Health and Safety Executive estimates that “more than a quarter of all road traffic incidents may involve somebody who is driving as part of their work at the time.” Police road accident data shows that every year over 500 people are killed (almost one third of all road deaths), 5,000 seriously injured and almost 40,000 slightly injured in collisions involving drivers or riders who are driving for work.

Employers have a duty to assess, train and supervise any staff who drive as part of their job, and to manage the conditions under which their workforce drive for work, in order to reduce the risks their staff face and create whilst driving for work.

Unfortunately, almost all road crashes are caused by, or involve, human error and driver behaviour is one of the main contributors.  The most frequently recorded causes of road crashes involving drivers are:

  • careless, thoughtless, reckless driving
  • inappropriate speed
  • failure to look properly
  • loss of control of vehicle
  • lack of judgement of own path
  • failure to give way
  • poor turn or manoeuvre
  • inattention or distraction

Road traffic accidents and the resultant consequences can have a serious impact on your business and preventing crashes will not only help improve safety overall but will also boost productivity and protect your employees’ lives.

Putting safety first will lower business costs and improve your reputation.

Businesses are responsible for helping drivers understand the importance of safe driving as well as the risks and contributory factors to collisions.

Here are a few tips on how employers can improve fleet safety:

  • undertake full risk assessments
  • create a driving for work policy
  • raise awareness amongst the driver workforce of the importance of staying within speed limits, staying off the phone and focused on the critical task at hand

Browse our online Driver Factsheet Library here to help provide your drivers with helpful safety information such as:

  • Most common cause of accidents and how to avoid them
  • Safe driving on country roads
  • Driving safely around cyclists