8 ways to improve safety when driving for work
A quarter of all road traffic accidents involve someone driving for work. And there are 5,000 accidents involving transport in the workplace each year, 1% of which are fatal.
Follow these tips to improve safety when driving for work
- Check the vehicle before you set off - for example, that seatbelts are functional and in good repair; mirrors are clean, clear and adjusted correctly; windscreen wipers are correctly positioned and functional and there is ample screenwash; the lights are functional and clean; tyres are properly inflated and have sufficient tread.
- Report any problems or faults immediately - and do not drive the vehicle until it has been checked.
- Make sure you have the necessary licence for the vehicle - for example, car, motorcycle, HGV, fork-lift truck, etc and are trained.
- Plan your journey - first, consider whether your trip is necessary at all or whether you can use a safer form of transport instead (e.g. train). If it's unavoidable, plan your route carefully, avoiding accident blackspots or areas of high congestion (where possible).
- Check the weather before you travel - in adverse conditions, consider cancelling or postponing your journey, allowing more time for your journey, carrying winter emergency equipment (e.g. a spade, spare clothing/blanket, mobile phone, etc).
- Take regular breaks - 15 minutes rest is recommended for every two hours driving.
- Comply with all road traffic laws - for example, stick to the speed limits, wearing a seatbelt, not using your mobile phone when driving, not driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, and wearing glasses or contact lenses (if required) to satisfy vision requirements (reading a number plate from 20 metres).
- Tell your manager promptly about anything which may affect your ability to drive for work - such as health issues, penalties, accidents, etc.
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