Fleet News

Fleets are braced for nightmare November

FLEETS face a ‘nightmare November’ this month as accidents increase sharply as darker evenings and colder weather make driving more dangerous.

Every autumn, accident rates increase just as the clocks change, with November recording the most incidents every year for four out of the past five years, according to statistics.

In 2002, there were 14% more collisions recorded in October and November than in September, according to Kenny Roberts, managing director of ATC Driver Training.

Roberts said many drivers are ill-prepared for these changes in road conditions and visibility. He added: ‘Many of these could be prevented with some simple advice to drivers regarding pre-journey preparation and a change in driver attitude while behind the wheel in the winter months.’

Ian Davis-Knight, head of MOT and technical operations for the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) said the onus on safer driving throughout the winter months is also on the drivers themselves.

He added: ‘In the winter, speed can be the enemy, so winter driving means steady driving. Stopping distances double in the rain and on icy roads can increase 10 times.’

Useful supplies for fleet drivers to carry in their cars could include a torch, spare batteries and bulbs, screen scraper/de-icer, jump leads, warning triangle, first aid kit, blankets and warm jacket, shovel, fire extinguisher, a rope for towing and road maps.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is urging the Government to introduce a three-year trial to give Britain lighter evenings all year round by scrapping ‘daylight saving’ clock changes.

Head of road safety Kevin Clinton said: ‘We know nothing can be done this year, but in the meantime everyone can play a part in trying to ensure the expected rise in deaths and injuries is as small as possible.’

Seven ways to stay safe on the road

The Retail Motor Industry Federation has produced the following checklist that fleet executives could encourage their drivers to follow:

  • Make sure the car is warmed up before setting off and ensure you have enough fuel
  • Let someone know of your intended movements
  • Check windscreen wipers for wear and tear
  • Listen to traffic news and weather reports and wear warm clothing
  • On cold morning, use a de-icer or scraper on windows
  • Check that your screen wash is not clogged and that the bottle is topped up for use
  • Give external lights and mirrors a once over
  • Spray damp inhibitor into the door locks to prevent them seizing up
  • Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

    Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

    Login to comment


    No comments have been made yet.

    Compare costs of your company cars

    Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

    What is your BIK car tax liability?

    The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee