To mark the start of Car Safety Week, Peter Hitt, manager of technical operations at ARI Fleet UK, has offered his vehicle maintenance and risk management tips for fleet managers.
“Car safety is a crucial part of any fleet management service and organisations have a duty of care to their employees to ensure workplaces are safe – including the fleet vehicles they oversee.
“One of the most important ways of keeping a car safe is through effective tyre maintenance; all drivers should know how to carry out a simple tyre check. They should also understand the importance tyres play in keeping fuel and maintenance costs down and increasing driver safety.
“Drivers should inspect tread depth and check tyre pressure regularly. Keeping tyres at the pressure stated by the manufacturer ensures optimum safety and also improves fuel economy. By law, tread depth should be a minimum of 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre for all cars and vans.
“For fleet managers, accident avoidance is a key factor in reducing costs associated with vehicle repairs and downtime. Screening driving licenses and planning individual training sessions for all drivers are simple but vital first steps towards reducing accidents. Vehicle tracking systems, such as telematics, are useful tools in understanding drivers’ actions and behaviours, helping fleet managers to create a tailored approach to online and in-car training that covers individual risk areas.
“Businesses should also be aware of the responsibilities of having a grey fleet - people behave differently when driving their own car versus a company vehicle. Risk management programmes can help a company regain control over a grey fleet by allowing fleet managers to understand drivers’ behaviour and confirm proof of insurance, title and MOT test status which improves safety and ultimately lower costs.