Do you drive for your employer? Have you had the correct training or, indeed, any training at all? If the answer is no, then it’s time to take action: at least 24% of road deaths and serious injuries in this country involve a vehicle that is being driven for work.
The alarming figure, provided by the Department for Transport, highlights how both drivers and their employers must ensure measures are in place to improve driving standards when driving for work.
Brake, a road safety charity, claims that out of 228 companies it surveyed, more than half don’t provide driver education on protecting pedestrians and cyclists. What’s more, just 20% of employers surveyed fitted vehicles with blind spot radar-based sensors, and 30% use cameras to protect against blind spots.
Ellie Pearson, from Brake, says employers have a role to play in preventing accidents on the road. “We’re appealing to all employers with staff who drive for work to get the right policies in place, make use of technologies to address blind spots and speeding, and ensure their drivers understand that protecting people always comes first.”
The hidden dangers of blind spots
Blind spots are a major issue for drivers of large vehicles, such as trucks. They are the areas around a vehicle that a driver cannot see by looking through the windows or checking their standard mirrors, and each year they are responsible for 23% of cyclist deaths in Britain, despite making up only 5% of traffic.
Road Safety Week, held from 17-23 November, will focus on the theme of ‘look out for each other’. Drivers and employers can sign up at roadsafetyweek.org.uk and be sent a free pack with resources that help them promote safe driving.
In July, Sainsbury revealed an improved version of its delivery lorries. It is fitted with cameras that offer drivers a 360-degree view around the truck and uses proximity sensors to help warn when cyclists or pedestrians are dangerously close.
Choosing driver training courses
Drivers and companies who want to put in place robust training have a great deal of choice. A helpful resource is Fleet News’s driver training section, which reports on developments that impact on drivers and their employers, and reviews new training courses, including the latest – a simulator that can test drivers in all weather conditions.
Alternatively RoSPA, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, offers a range of training for managers who run vehicle fleets for a company, or the drivers behind the wheel. The IAM, Institute of Advanced Motorists, offers a similarly broad range of courses for commercial training.