Brian Ingham, director and company secretary of ACE Vehicle Deliveries, revealed how he had passed a fatal accident on the M1 where he believes a life may have been saved by a piece of safety equipment costing just a few pounds.
He told members of the Midlands regional meeting of Acfo, the fleet managers’ association: ‘I saw the result of an accident where a woman’s car had hit the central reservation and the driver’s door was wedged shut.
‘Apparently she climbed out of the passenger door and was hit by passing traffic as she tried to run to the hard shoulder. If she had been wearing a high visibility vest, she may have been saved.’
Ingham, who is also finance director of Acfo, added: ‘They only cost about £3, so it is worth throwing a couple of extra ones in for passengers in case your drivers break down in future.
‘I always carry a few inside the car for me and any passengers to use if there is a breakdown. It is no good keeping them in the boot, they need to be in the passenger compartment, such as in the pockets behind the front seats.’
Members heard that many European countries already demand that drivers carry jackets.
But a spokesman for the Department for Transport said there were currently no plans to make jackets a legal requirement in the UK.