Over the last year cost-of-living has impacted us all, but when it comes to travel, the increasing costs are crippling many drivers ability to keep their vehicles maintained and road safe.
In a survey (by Brake and AXA) regarding vehicle safety, 58% of people said they are worried about the cost of having their vehicle serviced, 62% concerned about repair bills and 47% of survey respondents worried about the cost of their vehicle MOT.
Compared with results from a Brake survey carried out 10 years ago, there was a 7% increase of driving with defective tyres, which may be an indication that people are being forced to take greater risks in response to an increased cost-of-living. Survey analysis has shown that many people have been driving with other vehicle issues as well, issues such as dashboard warning lights, broken lights, incorrect water/oil levels, defective brakes, dirty windows and/or unusual noises.
Overall, 43% of people admitted to driving with vehicle defects. Of these, 63% said they had done so to save money.
In the past 12 months, respondents have driven with:
18% - Defective tyres
11% - Wrong oil or water levels
10% - Broken lights
10% - Dirty windows or mirrors
10% - Dashboard warning lights
8% - Unusual noises
5% - Broken indicators
5% - Brakes in poor working order
‘Defective brakes’ are the most significant cause in the police data, contributing to 187 deaths and serious injuries on roads in Britain in 2021, followed by ‘illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres’, which contributed to 123 deaths and serious injuries.
To read the full survey comprised by Brake and AXA - Click Here
With the UK government's Work-Related Road Safety Task Group estimating that up to a third of all road traffic accidents (20 fatalities and 250 serious injuries every week) involve someone who is at work at the time managing the risk to employees who drive at work requires employers to take all reasonable steps in order to manage risks and do everything reasonably practicable to protect people from harm in the same way as they would in the workplace.
The lists below are "reasonable steps" that employers should consider.
Employers should ensure that drivers are:
1. competent and capable of driving in a way that is safe for them and others;
2. properly trained for the vehicle they are using;
3. sufficiently fit and physically and / or mentally healthy in order to not put themselves and / or others at risk;
4. provided with information that will help them reduce vehicle / driving risk (eg recommended tyre pressures);
5. provided with appropriate advice on driving posture, fatigue etc.
Employers should ensure that vehicles are:
1. fit for the purpose for which they are being used;
2. maintained in a road safe condition at all times.
Good to Go Safety and TakeAIM provide fleet vehicle safety inspections that are designed to encourage employees to carry out essential pre-use vehicle safety checks prior to use. Our inspections can be built into a fleet management policy and help to highlight vehicle faults whilst reducing maintenance costs. The systems help employers meet their legal duty of care in accordance with various separate laws governing occupational driving including The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, PUWER & The Road Traffic Act 1998.
The introduction of a systematic maintenance and safety programme allows managers to receive a signed and dated vehicle inspection which can be used as evidence of an active and up-to-date maintenance programme in the event of an accident. Some of the basic vehicle checks covered in our inspections include the engine department for oil, screen wash, battery etc; whilst lights, mirrors, tyres and documentation are amongst the various external checks and it even includes details on the driver to ensure their license is in date and that they are fit to drive – all of which can be seen to cover many of the considerations listed above in one simple and affordable solution.
Using either Good to Go Safety
(Paper Version) or TakeAIM
(Digital Inspections - Google Play / Apple APP Download) to inspect your vehicles (whether for work or personal use) should be part of your daily routine. Never overlook the importance of a quick walk around inspection as it could save your life and the lives of others. Taking a few extra moments to complete some basic checks could mean the difference between making it to your destination or not.