With the Christmas festivities now in the rear mirror, we are all preparing to dig in and make it through the rest of the dreary winter season. Ahead of us are cold winter nights, cloudy winter days, and plenty of precipitation that could make things treacherous. The Highways Agency is doing its part to make sure it is as prepared as it can be for the onset of winter weather. Fleet managers should be doing their part as well, including working with drivers and conducting licence checks.
It is the responsibility of the fleet manager to ensure company drivers and their vehicles are prepared for winter weather. Where drivers are concerned, occasional reminders of safe driving practices can be combined with remedial training on a regular basis. Vehicles should be routinely inspected for safety, including tyres, lights, and wipers.
Team leader Paul Furlong, of the Highways Agency, says that last winter was the wettest in central and southern England over the last 250 years. Along with enough rainfall to cause serious flooding issues, there was plenty of snow and ice that had to be dealt with as well. The Agency is expecting another severe winter this year.
The biggest problem for the Agency is the volume of roads that have to be dealt with. Despite having a fleet consisting of more than 600 vehicles, it is impossible for them to keep every mile of public road open and clean at all times. Supervisors must prioritise based on traffic needs and weather patterns. This means your company drivers may have to drive on roads that are slippery during the winter months.
Fleet managers should remind company drivers to slow down, take extra time, utilise extra braking distance and avoid hard turns and lane changes. Any vehicle defects that could pose a safety hazard during winter weather should be reported and dealt with right away.
Licence Checking for Winter Driving
Safe winter driving comes down to two primary factors: properly maintained vehicles and conscientious drivers. We believe checking licences is a good way to know whether your drivers will be able to handle winter weather safely or not. How so? Well, consider what a licence check will reveal.
Assuming all of your company drivers are operating legally and with the right class of licence, a routine licence check can reveal infractions and licence points you were previously unaware of. An accumulation of blemishes on a driving licence suggests an individual is careless behind the wheel. That's not to say a driver is automatically disqualified in such a case, but simply to suggest the fleet manager should pay special attention to a driver with a questionable record.
Fleet Licence Check can assist you with all of your licence check needs. For more than 20 years, we have been providing motoring companies of all sizes with claims handling service and licence checking. We would be happy to help you better manage your fleet and drivers, with a one off service or a comprehensive service package.Sources:
1. Fleet News UK – http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/2015/1/12/fleets-braced-for-harsh-winter-ahead/54505/