How’s My Driving? - Safe Driving Blog Tips
We all want to make our roads a safer place, but with millions of cars, vans, lorries, cyclists, motorbikes and other vehicles traversing the country's extensive road network daily, how can we all work together to make sure road safety is a shared responsibility.
Fleet managers, who spend lots of their time considering their fleet, drivers and customers, play a pivotal role. Let’s delve into the world of road safety from the unique perspective of a fleet manager, exploring strategies to make the roads safer for all.
Before we delve into the specifics of road safety, we think it’s key to understand the context of the logistics industry's magnitude in the UK. This sector serves as the lifeblood of the nation's economy, ensuring goods reach their destinations promptly:
- The UK has one of the most extensive road networks in Europe, with over 246,700 miles of paved roads.
- London has one of the most comprehensive public transport systems in the world, including the tube, buses, trams, and river services.
- The UK rail network has around 10,000 miles of track.
- The adoption of electric vehicles has been steadily increasing over the last decade, with the UK gov announcing plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.
- Many UK cities have dedicated cycle lanes and bike-sharing schemes.
- Ports like Dover and Southampton are vital for trade, serving as gateways for goods coming into and leaving the UK.
- The UK gov are working on sustainability initiatives to reduce carbon emissions in the transport sector, such as incentives for electric vehicles and further investment in cleaner public transport.
Heavy and Long Goods Vehicles (HGVs and LGVs) are the workhorses of the logistics industry. These massive vehicles, while essential for transporting goods efficiently, can pose unique challenges to road safety. Fleet managers need to consider additional issues like blind spots, longer braking distances, and the importance of continual professional development to ensure their driver are always highly trained and aware of latest safety advances.
Driver training: A cornerstone of road safety
One of the key responsibilities of a fleet manager is ensuring that their drivers are well-prepared to navigate the UK's roads safely. This involves comprehensive driver training programs that cover not only the rules of the road but also specific skills like defensive driving techniques. Driver training doesn't end at the hiring stage; it's an ongoing process to keep skills sharp and knowledge up to date.
Top tips: making roads safer for all
- Data-Driven Decision Making: Fleet managers are increasingly turning to data analytics and telematics to enhance road safety. By analysing data on driver behaviour, vehicle performance, road conditions, and encouraging two way communication, fleet managers can make informed decisions to reduce risks and improve overall safety.
- Preventive Maintenance: Regular vehicle maintenance is another crucial aspect of road safety, preventive maintenance should be in place to help identify and address potential issues with the vehicle before they become hazards on the road.
- Technology Integration: By adopting cutting-edge technologies like GPS tracking to help support route planning and also promptly addressing any deviations from safe driving practices.
- Driver Support: The How’s My Driving? service provides real-time data and feedback from the public to help support fleet managers to drivers to monitor driving behaviour and identify areas for continued professional development to help make the roads a safer place.
- Safety Culture: Creating a culture of safety within any organisation, big or small, is paramount. Fleet managers promote safety through regular safety meetings, driver incentives for safe driving, and open communication channels for reporting safety concerns.
A shared responsibility
While fleet managers play a pivotal role in enhancing road safety, it's essential to recognise that it's a shared responsibility. All road users, including drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists (and more!), must play their part. Adhering to traffic rules, staying vigilant, and respecting the space of larger vehicles like HGVs are steps everyone can take to contribute to safer roads. As we navigate the intricate web of road networks, remember that road safety is a collective effort, and every individual has a role to play in ensuring that we reach our destinations safely.
Road safety isn't just a concern for fleet managers; it's a shared commitment to making our roads a safer place for everyone.
15 August 2023