There has been progress in lifting restrictions across the UK as a way of getting the country moving again. One of the results of this is increased road travel both for domestic and commercial purposes.
Whilst many workers are still operational on the road, the increased intake of drivers who may be a bit out of practice could lead to more minor incidents on the roads. What exactly does an increase in road usage mean for the health and safety of those at your workplace?
1. Lack of vehicle usage could lead to more breakdowns
The lack of road use may not only impact on the ability of drives but also the vehicles themselves. Leaving cars dormant for long periods could have a detrimental impact on the battery and oil levels. This could increase the risk of breakdowns and the loss of power on the roads. This coupled with potentially impaired reaction times may lead to more dangers on the roads.
Here are some of the checks you can make when ensuring your car is safe to drive back to work:
- Fuel levels
- Oil level
- Tyre tread
- Windscreen wiper rubber
- Coolant levels
- Front and rear bulbs
- Brake fluid and feel of pedals
- Check the exterior for any damage
2. Increased levels of speeding could lead to an increase in incidents
Speeding is one of the major causes of incidents on the roads and recent statistics have shown a rise in the number of drivers exceeding the limits on the roads. This could put drivers at a higher risk of incidents that can impact on both their physical and mental health.
Speeding puts the perpetrator at a higher risk of losing control of the vehicle and leads to a big fall in reaction times. If you are managing a fleet of drivers, getting the rate of speeding down could make the difference between a high number of incidents and a relatively low one. This could be done through a combination of behavioural safety techniques and technology solutions.
3. AA predicts a drop-in drop in the number of drivers on the roads
Despite the potential for an increase in incidents, a poll from the AA indicates that around a 5th of road users will consider driving less once the restrictions are lifted. This could make for quieter roads which are often less dangerous ones. This could be due to several reasons including less long-distance trips and an increase of workers choosing to work from home. This will have to be taken into consideration for those managing the health and safety of vehicle workers.
What does driving after lockdown mean for your fleet’s health and safety?
The lifting of restrictions and behavioural changes caused by the virus will likely have an impact on the way we use our roads. If you are responsible for the health and safety of a fleet, you will need to ensure the vehicles are in good working order and that your drivers are fit to return to work.
The presence of the virus and dangers around it also means social distancing will need to be exhibited in the workplace, and this applies for drivers too. Current government advice recommends frequent handwashing, provide good ventilation in the vehicles and make sure all surfaces are disinfected regularly.