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Keeping your drivers safe over Christmas
Posted by David Cant on November 30, 2016

Keeping your drivers safe over Christmas

driving safely road signDecember tends to be particularly dangerous on Britain’s roads. Shorter days, weaker sunlight and more traffic all help to increase the risks associated with driving. Even relatively short journeys become more dangerous as a result.

Here are some top tips for helping your mobile workers stay safe on the road.

Watch the weather folks

Rain, snow and ice are common across the country during December, making road surfaces slippery and dangerous. Your drivers should already be aware that untreated surfaces are particularly dangerous – but they need to pay particular attention to where they are driving.

If they are in any doubt whatsoever they must slow down. This greatly reduces the risk of losing control, especially when braking. Stopping in the wet, or on ice, takes much longer than normal.

Leave plenty of time for your journey

If conditions are bad before the journey starts, your drivers need to be encouraged to leave earlier – that way they will not be under pressure to drive faster than the conditions allow. And no matter the urgency of the job, drivers need to know it is better to arrive late and alive, than to take unnecessary risks.

Even if conditions are fine at the point of departure, you should still encourage drivers to leave earlier. December weather is unpredictable so conditions could change at any point of the journey.

Be aware of other traffic

Holiday traffic greatly increases the volumes of traffic on Britain’s roads – especially outside the usual rush hour peaks. This greatly increases the risk of accidents and traffic jams throughout the day. Your drivers need to drive “defensively”, leaving plenty of space between themselves and other vehicles.

Your drivers can also help other road users be aware of their presence simply by using their headlights whenever the light fades.

Lay off the booze and get some sleep

December is a constant whirl of end-of-year deadlines and parties and gatherings. The company Christmas do, drinks with mates, a family meal – they all typically involve late nights and more than a few drinks.

Few of your employees would dream of driving home from the pub after a session – but they may get behind the wheel early the next morning. Every year hundreds of drivers are arrested for drink-driving simply because they haven’t metabolised the alcohol they drank the night before.

As a responsible employer there is nothing wrong with reminding your employees of these risks. In fact, you definitely should be warning employees who drive as part of their job. You should also encourage them to get plenty of sleep – many accidents are caused by tiredness.

Not rocket science, but safe driving practices are easily overlooked

Most of these tips would have been covered when first learning to drive. But over the years we all develop bad habits behind the wheel, placing ourselves and other road users at risk of injury or death. So it is good practice to repeat them periodically.

Using these tips, your workers should be safer on the roads this Winter. Please get in touch if you need any more advice.

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Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME's favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick.

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