With roadways becoming more congested, concern about the impact of diesel on the environment, roadworks that seem to go on and on, with risk based arrangements in place to calm traffic through road developments, the challenge for planning travel by road for companies, so they remain cost effective, whilst meeting their customer needs has never been so challenging.
In 2015, annual road deaths were reported at 1720 with serious injuries at 22,137 (UK Department of Transport figures).
We all have to consider ourselves being fit to drive at all times; our vehicles, road and weather conditions and the actions or reactions of other drivers. These factors are all subject to change and therefore we need to be dynamic in our risk assessment approach.
As drivers, our approach to our own use of the roads and other road users, can be influenced by our own past experiences.
Key controls that can reduce incidents and accidents include effective journey planning, to include; knowledge of road systems and types of road, assisted by information on the radio and Motorist Organisations which provide up to date information.
Apart from mandatory Insurance and MOT’s for vehicles over 3 years old, once on the road, your responsibility is check for defects and carry out vehicle checks to ensure your vehicle remains fit for the road. Checks include tyres, windscreens, fuel and oil levels, lights as well as screen wash (dealing with seasonal issues from summer dust to salt on the roads in winter months)
Where you are having to carry loads for work, ensure also that loads are secure to prevent losses of load or movement of load that may cause your vehicle to tip or swerve.
The blue light behind you
The fine for using a hand held mobile phone, for calls and texts whilst driving ( including being in stationery traffic) has recently increased. You can get 6 penalty points and a £200 fine if you use a hand-held phone. You can also be taken to court where you can be banned from driving or riding or get a maximum fine of £1,000 (£2,500 if you’re driving a van or lorry). If you passed your driving test in the last 2 years, you’ll lose your licence.
Other offences to include driving dangerously or without due care and attention cannot be forgotten.
When you are driving; think safe distance; Can you see TYRES AND TARMAC. If not, you’re too close.
Summary – Think Driver; Think vehicle; Think Road