Fasten your seat belt

Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest safety measures you and your passengers can take, and it could save your life, by stopping you from being thrown out of or around the vehicle in a crash. Wearing a three-point seat belt halves your risk of death in a crash.

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Everyone should always wear a seat belt, even on short journeys. People are less likely to belt up for short or familiar routes, but even if you’ve made a journey a thousand times before, or you’re just driving around the corner, it could still be a life-saver, and it’s still the law.

Before setting off, make sure you and your passengers, including your pets are belted up and secure. Seat belt use is lower among back seat passengers, but this is incredibly dangerous for that person and other people in the vehicle. An unrestrained back seat passenger can kill someone else in the vehicle, and themselves, by slamming into someone else’s head in a crash.

This could happen to you, it happens every day!

  • How often you see pets in-secure in the back of cars?
  • Children messing around in the back of your car?
  • In-secure loads, chuck your computer bag, or shopping in the back seat

Think about it!

Not only are we breaking the law, you are also invalidating your vehicle insurance.

We will be covering transporting pets safely shortly in our blog, we also have been asked to run courses about this subject.

Make sure you have enough three-point seat belts for everyone travelling in your vehicle. Never squeeze extra people in without belts, or sharing the same belt – which can be as dangerous as not wearing one.

Three-point belts are far safer than lap belts, because the shoulder strap on a three-point belt stops your body being flung forward in a crash, which can result in horrific injuries. If you drive or a passenger in an older vehicle with a lap belt in a particular seat, don’t use that seat, remember we only have one life.!

Continue reading “Fasten your seat belt”

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Telematics – Ongoing

We released this blog post a few weeks ago, and this has raised the attention of a lot your professional drivers, especially those working for companies that use this equipment. We will be releasing this hot topic again, keep you eyes posted on this blog, or even attend one of our driver cpc courses, where we go into much more detail.

 

A recent survey analysis of 3 billion miles of driving data provides crucial insight as telematics pioneer uses black box data to target regular speeding culprits with safer driving support. The data shows that:

  • Drivers who speed over 20% of the time increase their risk of having an accident by 87%
  • Those that speed 10% of the time increases the risk by 42%
  • Targeted communications reduces speeding by 15%

Watch out for our next blog about Telematics, in the mean time watch this interesting film

Telematics Film

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Winter Driving Checks – Part 1

Part of Driver CPC, we like to spend just a little more time going over, for most is regular routine walk-round check, however you wouldn’t believe how many of us still get it wrong, and more importantly disciplinary action at work, or even loss of life could result, overlooking important areas in our checks, and remember we should as regular practice, do these checks on our own private vehicles, even your bike, if you bike to work.

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Driver walk around checks and defect reporting

At work, driver walk around checks and default reporting to identify and share good practices over and above these minimum standards. Lets go beyond the minimum standards, and look at ways to help us achieve our goals, and remember, through driver cpc courses, we are able to use practical techniques to ensuring you are achieving beyond the minimum standards, only to be expected at professional advanced drivers.

Driver Training

All drivers should be fully trained in carrying out vehicle checks and how your defect reporting system works. This may have been done as an induction, prior to joining a new company, part of your Driver CPC periodic training, however you should be familiar with your company policies, regarding Driver walk around checks and defect reporting.

Checks should be carried out by all drivers on taking over the use of any and every vehicle or trailer. Particular care to be taken when there is a change to the type of vehicle or trailer operated or where third party vehicle/trailers are to be used.

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Carry a torch with you, can you been seen easier on these cold, dark morning shifts? Non-slip shoes for icy or puddles! Ticking off a list with cold hands, rain, snow or even wind, are their any alternative wears of ticking off your checklist? Click board, with clear cover, work this out now. Some companies may have checklist on PDAs or even as mobile phone app, but are they weather proof for our climate?

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Are there more chance of being hit in the head, or unable to see overhanging objects, do require further PPE, Hardhat, protective eyewear, remember we go beyond minimum, we are professional advanced drivers!

Motorists are more likely to break down in winter than any other time of year. There’s also a greater probability of delays on the roads.

No matter what vehicle you are in or how good a driver you are, if there is a big accident on the roads you could face several hours sitting still whilst the road is cleared. And winter is a time when you don’t want to be sat still in your vehicle without being prepared for the cold.

We’ve given you the tips to reduce the risk of a breakdown, but in case you do get stuck, here’s our checklist of things to keep in your vehicle and things to do to be prepared for the cold weather.

  • Sat-nav and map book of area you will be travelling
  • A snow shovel
  • Windscreen scraper
  • Torch (and extra batteries)
  • Water
  • Snack/food
  • Extra hats, socks and gloves
  • Good sturdy footwear
  • First Aid kit
  • Necessary medications
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Mobile phone in-car charger
  • Flask of Coffee/Tea or even just hot water

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All this extra preparations, do you need a little more time to do this?

Extra Equipment

Remember – ice scrapers and de-icer are of no use, if they are in vehicle, and you can’t get into the vehicle. Ladders of safe equipment to allow you reach your windscreen, lights, etc to clear them of ice.

Not you are ready to tackle any weather lets check our vehicles!

Continue reading “Winter Driving Checks – Part 1”

Sat Navs

Sat-Navs

Sat-nav or otherwise known as Satellite Navigation System works by using satellites to track the position of your vehicle. The satellites monitor a vehicle’s heading, speed, and co-ordinates, which are then cross-referenced against a roadmap or database of zones stored aboard your vehicle. or even your mobile phone. They can then give the driver directions to a destination by comparing the vehicles heading and co-ordinates with the layout of the road network. Several different types of Sat Navs are available to drivers, many of which are built into the vehicle itself.

A well used Sat Nav can help drivers plan routes and prevent drivers from making last minute lane changes or hesitating because they are not sure of the directions, however a badly used Sat Nav can cause a distraction and increase the risk of an accident. It is important that drivers understand how best to use their Sat Nav and learn not to use it when it may be dangerous to do so.

  • Plan your journey in advance (remember to take into consideration, long-term road works, weather, type of roads (country roads or motorways), driving hours (congestion times within towns and cities, vehicle capabilities, fuel, stops, etc)
  • Position the Sat Nav safely, out of the way of airbags and not obstructing a driver’s vision (not on the windscreen, especially for haulage, bus & coaches who may be spot checked by vosa).
  • Find a method of using the Sat Nav that is not distracting to you (night mode option)
  • Always make the same observations to keep you safe that you would without the Sat Nav
  • Learn from your mistakes and if in doubt, seek refresher training.

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Driver CPC – Exemptions

I’m often asked “What the are exemptions for driver CPC”, so here are the facts.

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Certain drivers who need to hold goods vehicle, bus and coach driving licences are exempt from the requirements of the Directive and don’t need to hold a Drivers CPC. The exemptions apply only if you’re carrying out certain duties for example:

  • Your employed by the armed forces you won’t be required to hold a Drivers CPC when engaged in duties relating to that profession.
  • Vehicles with a maximum authorised speed not exceeding 27 mph (45 km/h).
  • Vehicles used by, or under the control of, the armed forces, civil defence, fire services, the prison service and forces responsible for maintaining public order.
  • Vehicles undergoing road test for technical development, repair or maintenance purposes, or new or rebuilt vehicles that haven’t yet been put into service.
  • Vehicles used in states of emergency or assigned to rescue missions.
  • Vehicles used in the course of driving lessons for any person whishing to obtain a driving licence or Driver CPC, as provided for in Article 6 and Article 8(1) of Directive 2003/59/EC
  • Vehicles used for non-commercial carriage of passenger of goods, for personal use
  • Vehicles carrying material or equipment to be used by the driver in the course of their work, provided that driving the vehicle isn’t the driver’s principal activity.

You also won’t need to have Driver CPC if you’re not a professional driver but your work includes an incidental element of driving empty lorries, buses and coaches in the local area. You’ll need to satisfy all of the following conditions:

  • the vehicle is being driven by a person whose principal activity in the course of their work is not driving relevant vehicles
  • you’re driving within 100 km of your base
  • you’re not carrying any passengers
  • insofar as the vehicle may be carrying goods or burden, the goods or burden must only be equipment, including machinery, that is permanently fixed to the vehicle.

If you, the driver, consider that you should be exempted from Driver CPC, then it’s your responsibility to check that this is the case. You’re strongly recommended to seek legal advice if you’re in any doubt. Any perceived exemptions can ultimately be tested in a court of law.

Questons

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