World Day for Safety & Health at Work: Top Tips for Driving for Work Safely
At Penspen, driving is a major risk. We’re marking World Day for Safety & Health at Work 2019 with some of our top tips for driving safely for work.
We are committed to the goal of Zero Harm and have established clear guidance when driving for work, to help reduce accidents on the road.
According to the World Health Organisation, road traffic accidents are the 8th leading cause of death across all age groups and have increased to 1.35 million per year.
Safety is our number one priority, which is why we implement our company driving rules throughout Penspen.
We aim to drive SMART:
Secure – wear your seatbelt and secure loads
Manage – plan and assess journeys and check vehicles before setting off
Alert – be alert to hazards, fit and fully rested before journeys
Reduce – reduce your speed to road, weather and vehicle conditions
Telephone – do not make or receive phone calls whilst driving
Using this guidance, we’ve put together the following tips for staying safe when driving for work.
Tips for Driving for Work Safely
- Set your mobile phone to ‘Do Not Disturb’ while driving
This will prevent distractions from your mobile phone by all stopping calls or texts from coming through whilst you are driving. A message will alert those attempting to contact you that you are currently driving and will respond when you are parked up and it is safe to do so.
- Always drive within the speed limit
Travelling at higher speeds can mean that you have less time to react to potential hazards around you and will increase stopping time.
- Plan your journey in advance and allow adequate time to reach your destination
When planning your journey, ensure you include enough time for regular rest breaks and consider any foreseeable changes to traffic and road conditions, which may increase your journey time.
- Check the weather forecast before setting off
When driving, wet weather and slippery road surfaces can increase stopping distances, while fog can reduce visibility, leading to an increased risk of accidents.
- Service and maintain your vehicle on a regular basis
Check your vehicle before every journey and ensure that you check the tyres, oil and brakes on a regular basis. If you notice any issues with your vehicle, get these looked at immediately.
- When travelling in winter, ensure you have the following emergency supplies within your vehicle: a fully charged mobile phone, a change of warm/waterproof clothing, emergency food, a warm drink, salt and a shovel.
Adverse winter weather conditions can cause additional hazards when driving. Assess your journey and take note of advice on whether or not it is safe to travel.
- Take regular breaks when driving long distances
Take a 15-minute break for every 2 hours of driving and stop in a safe place if you are feeling tired.
- When possible, try to avoid driving at high risk times
Between 02:00-06:00am and 14:00-16:00pm are likely to be the higher risk times to drive. Avoid driving when you would usually be sleeping; if necessary, arrange an overnight.
- Ensure you have access to emergency equipment within your vehicle
This can include: a first aid kit, a high-visibility jacket and a hazard warning triangle for use in the event of a breakdown.