As the manager of a fleet of vehicles – whether in the form of a taxi service, delivery company, or even sales fleet for a larger organisation – it is incumbent on you to ensure that the vehicles are safe to drive and that your drivers are safe in driving them. It is an unfortunate fact that fleet vehicles were the second-most common kind of vehicle involved in a road accident in 2019 – second only to private cars. What can you do as a fleet manager to ensure the safety of your drivers?
Whatever your industry, you should ensure that hi-vis clothing is kept in each of your fleet vehicles at all times. Naturally, there is no legal requirement for this, but doing so can help keep the drivers safe in the event of a breakdown or accident. Wearing a hi-vis jacket or vest when exiting the car at the roadside will minimise the risk of injury, by making sure the driver is visible to other motorists even in low-light conditions.
First-aid kits are a crucial addition to any vehicle’s emergency kit, and your business’ fleet is certainly no different. The provision of medical equipment in work vehicles could even be considered a legal requirement given their regular use by your employees. Fleet vehicles constitute some employees’ place of work on a day-to-day basis, meaning they should have access to health and safety equipment the same way they would at the office – as enforced by the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981.
Red Warning Triangles
This is another item that has no legal precedent for being in your fleet vehicles, but its inclusion can again improve the safety of drivers within your team. Red warning triangles are used in the event of an accident or breakdown, to indicate to other motorists that there are hazards ahead. They can be useful to place on the hard shoulder, to indicate an upcoming accident to drivers and give them a chance to move over.
Spare Tyre and Jack
Spare tyres are usually already included in vehicles, but as the owner of a fleet, you need to ensure that every vehicle has one – and that they are replenished in the event that they get used. You should also invest in a portable car jack for each vehicle, to ensure that drivers can safely change tyres should they suffer a puncture or blow-out. This can not only keep your workers safe at the roadside but also save money in call-out fees and lost trade.
Lastly, ensuring each vehicle in your fleet has a phone charging cable can make all the difference when it comes to an emergency on the road. A cable that can plug into the cigarette lighter port means drivers can keep their devices charged wherever they are, ensuring they do not lose access to the internet or GPS during their journey. The guarantee of a charged phone also guarantees quicker response in the event of an accident.