Focus on fleet compliance and obey the law

Brendon Lansdowne, Burnt Tree Vehicle Rental

Fleet compliance is not only required by the law, but it is also vital for ensuring the safety of your drivers. Among fleet drivers, accident rates far exceed the national average, with commercial vehicles accounting for nearly one in five road deaths according to road safety charity Brake.

A study by IAM Drive & Survive surveyed 100 businesses and found that almost nine out of ten fleets had experienced an accident in the past 12 months. More worryingly, half of the drivers surveyed said that they hadn’t received any follow-up training after an incident, increasing the risk of an accident happening again in the future. Shockingly, every participant in the study admitted that they had been in an accident that was their fault – highlighting the need for effective accident management.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 highlights your responsibility as an employer, stating: “you must ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of all employees while at work. You must also ensure that others are not put at risk by your work-related driving activities.”

Managing fleet compliance is solely in the hands of you and your business, as well as any costs or injuries occurred from accidents – making the enforcement of accident management essential.

Ensure the wellbeing of drivers

In fleet culture, long hours place drivers in jeopardy of fatigue. Loss of concentration, irritability and a decrease in vigilance increases the risk of accidents, with fatigue contributing to 20% of fatal collisions. It is impossible to monitor how much sleep and rest your drivers receive, which is why safe driving training is a vital aspect of fleet compliance management, highlighting the dangers of fatigue to your fleet.

As discussed by The Health and Safety Executive, employers have a legal duty to assess the risks to the health and safety of employees and offer training and instructions for effective accident management. This includes dealing with issues associated with over-working, as well as other factors that impact the health of drivers such as alcohol and substance misuse. 

Is your fleet breaking the law?

When it comes to the rules of the road, Brake charity’s report highlights how 49% of motorists admit to breaking traffic laws. This may be a result of the declining number of active police patrols, with 23% of drivers breaking the law “because they think they can get away with it”. Fleet drivers may be tempted to adopt this mentality when working against the clock to make deliveries, risking speed violations in attempt to meet tight deadlines.

It is possible that your drivers are breaking the law without even realising. Aesthetically similar vehicles can have different legal speed limits due to their classification as car derived vehicles. Likewise, the recent revisions to HGV speed limits highlights the need for an up to date knowledge and clear grasp of your vehicles legal requirements and restrictions.

Vehicle telematics technology enables you to effectively monitor your fleet and access real-time data – ensuring fleet compliance with duty of care and road transport regulations. 

Compliance with the DVSA

For fleet vehicles to be legally roadworthy, they must pass the yearly Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency compliance check. While the past few years have highlighted a downward trend in prohibitions and serious offences, brake systems are still flagging red lights, accounting for up to 10% of HGV prohibitions.

Brake disk fractures and excessive brake actuator travel are common offenders, yet these defects can be avoided by efficient management and quality checks before the parts reach critical levels of damage. When using your own vehicles, it is the responsibility of the business owner to ensure fleet compliance management and maintenance, as well as associated costs for offending vehicles. 

With our leased vehicles, we take care of every aspect of servicing and maintenance, with MOTs and regular servicing at manufacture recommended intervals to ensure your vehicles are always compliant with regulations. On the small chance that your fleet experiences a problem, our ‘keep you on road’ philosophy ensures that your vehicles are never off the road for long, minimising downtime as much as possible.

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