Driver safety

December 11, 2017

As a fleet operator, one of your highest priorities should be making sure your drivers are properly trained to manage risks while driving. By combining a clearly-defined best practice safety policy along with on-going awareness-raising programs, you can help improve the odds that your drivers – and the road users around them – will remain safe on the road.

All employers have a duty of care to ensure that employees and members of the public suffer no unreasonable or foreseeable harm as a result of work-related activities. Equally, however, drivers have a duty to ensure they are operating their vehicles within the bounds of the law and that they look after their own personal safety. It is therefore crucial that your drivers are equipped with all the skills, knowledge and experience required to drive safely before hitting the road.

Safety policy

When writing your fleet policy, you should ensure that you include key information about road safety for your drivers’ reference. It’s important that you have your drivers read and agree to this policy for it to be worthwhile.

The safety policy ought to include legal information regarding road safety, such as speed limits, seatbelt restrictions, drink and drug driving, and driver eyesight requirements. The policy should also make clear the legal requirement of having a full driving licence and explain your organisation’s licence-checking policy.

It’s critical that your policy outlines the fleet’s vehicle maintenance standards and procedures that must be followed for safety and cost-management reasons. Make sure the policy also provides details about driver hours and guidance about what to do if a driver becomes fatigued.

Finally, it’s essential that you clarify your company stance on mobile phone use while driving. While it is against the law to use a handheld mobile at the wheel, the use of a hands-free device is left to the organisation’s discretion. Many organisations have completely banned the use of mobile phones in their vehicles due to the risk of distraction they pose.

Safety awareness

Supplementing your driver safety policy with frequent awareness-raising schemes is an effective way to reinforce driver safety standards. It’s important, however, to carefully consider how best to go about additional training, as some drivers might feel undermined if the training is rudimentary or intrusive. Such training could focus on safety issues that might not be immediately obvious to even the most experienced drivers, as well as revisiting the basics. For instance, eating, drinking or smoking at the wheel can potentially be fatal distractions, yet many people are unaware of the risk.

How we can help

Driver safety should be your main focus when operating your fleet. To help ensure that your drivers are driving to the highest standard we can offer you tailored driver training courses that focus on problem areas. They can also be completed through e-learning to reduce any inconvenience to your colleagues. If you'd like to speak to us about a duty of care package or any other service please get in touch here.