8 Road Risk Reduction Tips from Chevin

An accident can be 36 times the cost of a basic repair! Ensure you have a strategy to reduce the causes and help control costs.

causes of road accidents

“More than a quarter of all road traffic incidents may involve somebody who is driving as part of their work at the time”. Also see our blog on fleet accident statistics to discover how to improve fleet safety.

There’s a number of steps you can take that could help you reduce the chance of road accidents occurring within your fleet. Here are some steps you can take to help reduce accidents within your fleet:

1. Get managerial buy-in

Driving for work is the most dangerous activity many employees undertake, and contributes to far more work-related accidental deaths and serious injuries that all other work activities. There are 1750 deaths, 23,000 serious injuries and 170,000 minor injuries from driving every year. Nearly 17.8 million cars and around 3.9 millions LCVs are used by organisations in the UK, and around a third of those sustain damage every year. Lay out some of these facts to explain the extent to which accidents could impact your business operations – and highlight the benefits that could be gained by investing in a road risk management and strategy.

For example, as well as causing human misery, accidents can lead to:

increased insurance costs
vehicle downtime
lost productivity
employee sick leave
missed sales
lost or damaged stock
…and more

 Generate interest in the highest level of your company. Managerial buy-in will make every other step you take to reduce road accidents much easier.

2. Write a road risk policy

If your employees use vehicles for business purposes, you have a legal obligation to have a written road risk policy which you should make available to them through a proper induction. Make sure you also periodically assess employees to establish they are still medically and legally capable of driving. This policy should look at your vehicles and drivers and how they are used. It should contain simple and straightforward language to set out objectives for reducing accidents and outline how this will be achieved. It’s worth reading the Managing work-related road safety guide.

The document will serve as the cornerstone of your accident reduction strategy and should be made widely available across your organisation. Its worth covering aspects such as:

Personal Responsibilities
Mobile Phone Distraction
Drugs and Drinking
Driver behaviour
 Route Planning
Road Conditions
Health and Wellbeing
Emergency Procedures

Sample documents are available in several places online, including on the website of Road Safety GB.

3. Get accurate information

To reduce your accident rate, you need to know as much as possible about any incidents that have occurred within your fleet. Its also vital you keep details records of all driver and vehicles including communications send regarding actions taken to reduce or in response to accidents.

Careful recording is needed of each accident – not just insurance claim-style details but information on the kind of journey the driver was making, how long they had been driving, whether the vehicle had been recently inspected for safety and more.

In some fleets, best practice is to interview drivers in detail after every accident. A system such as Fleet Accident Management Software can provide a valuable platform in which to store this information and audit it later .

“Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.” (2009, VTTI. Via www.distraction.gov)

4. Benchmark against other fleets

To know whether your accident reduction strategy is working well, it’s useful to benchmark yourself against similar companies. Organisations such as Brake and ACFO can help with this.

As part of this process, you will also normally be able to share best practice ideas and discuss which strategies are proving most effective with fleet management peers.

5. Keep drivers fully informed

Your accident reduction strategy can’t work without driver engagement. Your drivers need to be aware of what you are trying to achieve and how – with special attention to their role. This means providing guidance about:

their on-road behaviour
the inspections that they need to periodically carry out on their vehicles
what they need to do after a collision
any penalties likely to be implemented as a result of poor driving

Regular communication is essential – it is important to keep road safety near the top of the agenda.

“Inappropriate speed contributes to around 10% of all injury collisions reported to the police, 13% of crashes resulting in a serious injury and 24% of collisions which result in a death” – RoSPA

6. Assess drivers’ skills

All drivers should be assessed on a regular basis. At the very least, this means checking their driving licence and looking at health issues such as eyesight that may affect them on the road. It is also very desirable to assess practical skills through on-road checks of driver behaviour by a qualified individual.

Assessments should be especially repeated following accidents and, if there is a question mark over a driver’s ability or suitability, they should be prevented from driving for work immediately pending further investigations.

7. Zero tolerance on drink and drugs

You must make it clear to drivers that you expect absolute adherence to the law on driving under the influence of drink and drugs. Many fleets go further and state that drivers should not drive under the influence of any drink or drugs. This policy applies to both prescription and illegal, recreational drugs.

If in doubt, you and the driver should seek advice from a medical professional. Some fleets ask drivers to sign a pledge stating that they will not drive under the influence of any drink or drugs.

reduce road accidents - don't drink and drive

8. Create a road safety culture

Road safety needs to be taken seriously across your organisation and considered at every level. For example, there is little point in having a comprehensive accident reduction strategy if employees are placed under pressure by line managers to follow unrealistic schedules or delivery times.

A good idea is to take part in the annual Road Safety Week organised by Brake, which provides ideas designed to encourage participation at both an employee and a corporate level.

By encouraging participation of learning these safe driving tips at both an employee and a corporate level, you can help make sure that safe driving is at the top of the agenda.

Learn more information about safe driving and methods to reduce road accidents by seeing our infographic.