For business owners managing fleets of vehicles it's essential that provisions are made to ensure all vehicles are safe and legal and to prepare drivers for returning to the road.
The most important thing for managers to inspect is whether a vehicle is safe to drive. With many vehicles being stationary for many months, problems can arise. Of course, it is essential that a vehicle is taxed and insured but it is equally essential to check the following aspects:
• Battery – check the battery cable is connected and look out for any warning lights when the engine is running.
• Fluid levels – before starting the engine ensure that all fluid (oil, coolant, brake fluid, screen wash, fuel etc.) is topped up and that there are no leaks.
• Tyres – make sure all tyres have enough air in them to the manufacturers recommended PSI.
• Brakes – check the brakes and handbrake are working. Drive slowly forward and test the brakes. Watch and listen for any jolts or unusual noises.
• Air-conditioning – run the air-conditioning to check that everything is working.
• Windscreen wipers – check the wipers are not cracked. If they are, this can be very dangerous when it is raining as you may not be able to see.
It is important to observe your driver’s well being and to make sure they are comfortable at all times. With Covid-19 causing an increase in mental health problems for many, it is essential that you understand how stress and anxiety can affects driver’s behaviour.
• Stress – this is a known factor which can increase accidents. Stress often leads to a lack of concentration which can be very dangerous on the roads.
• Fatigue – increased workloads can have a negative impact on drivers causing extreme fatigue leading to accidents.
• Alcohol – with alcohol demand increasing significantly during lockdown and for many providing a coping mechanism, you must remain alert and ensure no driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
• Speeding – fewer vehicles on the road has caused many to drive at higher speeds. There has in fact been an increase in accidents involving parked cars due to people driving at higher speeds.
It's essential that all provisions are put in place before drivers are back on the road. If they are not, then you may be liable in an accident. If you have any questions, then please get in touch with us on 01245 449060.