Fleet News

Be prepared for winter dangers

BOSSES at the UK’s biggest leasing company, Lex, have suggested a three-point plan fleet managers can use to encourage drivers to take winter motoring seriously.

Distributing winter safety notices to drivers and warning them to ensure they are prepared for bad weather would support a company’s duty-of-care responsibilities and encourage drivers themselves to think about safety issues, experts say.

Lex’s three-point plan is:

  • Send out a circular to all drivers about preparing their company car for winter.
  • Get a supplier in to carry out car park checks on tyres and windscreens.
  • Name and shame drivers who do not clean their company cars.

    The move should address concerns that cars have longer servicing intervals today and so are not seen by garages as often and the fact that many drivers fail to take care of their company vehicles.

    Lex managing director Jon Walden, named as Leasing Personality of the Year at the Fleet News FN50 dinner this month, said: ‘Some cars now only need a service once every 18,000 miles, which means we only see some low-mileage cars for servicing twice during a typical three-year contract.

    ‘These cars are at extra risk during winter as we have to rely on drivers being responsible for checking items such as oil, washer fluid, tyres and windscreen wipers.’

    He added: ‘There was a time when winter safety notices were not even considered by companies, but with the reality of duty of care it is important to encourage drivers to think more about safety.

    ‘Employers should put company car driver safety just as high up their priority list as they would with drivers of fork lift trucks and employees operating machinery.’

    Drug side effects hit drivers

    FLEETS have been warned to advise drivers on the dangers of over-the-counter medicines for flu and colds.

    Studies from Privilege Insurance show 54% of UK drivers are likely to drive while taking medication and 18% admitted their driving had been affected as a result during the past year.

    Medication taken for illnesses common at this time of year can impair a driver’s concentration.

    Privilege marketing and commercial director Kate Syred said: ‘Medicines are clearly labelled for a reason, and those drivers who aren’t taking the time to check for side effects could be putting themselves and other road users at risk.’

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