Fleet News

Brake calls on fleets to tackle blind spots

Brake, the road safety charity, is offering advice to help fleets prevent crashes with pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists by addressing blind spots, reducing risky manoeuvring, and raising awareness among drivers.

The guidance, published through Brake's Fleet safety Forum, produced in conjunction with Aviva, includes expert insights, best practice case studies and sample advice sheets for drivers.

In 2012, 866 cyclists, pedestrians and motorbikers were killed and 13,781 were seriously injured on UK roads - that's 40 deaths and serious injuries per day, 60% of all UK road deaths and serious injuries.

These road users are particularly vulnerable to vehicles manoeuvring, as they are more easily missed in drivers' blind spots. 75% of cyclist collisions in Britain occur at or near junctions.

All vehicles have blind spots, although different vehicles have them in different places, and larger vehicles have larger blind spots.

Brake and Aviva are therefore advising organisations with vehicles of any type or size to take action to minimise the blind spot risk and protect vulnerable road users.

The guidance report Protecting vulnerable road users from vehicle blind spots advises fleet managers on steps they can take to reduce the dangers to people on foot and bike, including technology, risk assessments, driver engagement, and vehicle selection.

It includes a case study from a company that has addressed its blind spot risk, and information on technological developments.

The attached driver advice sheets also include tips on safe, slow manoeuvring for drivers of commercial vehicles and cars and vans.

Laura Woods, research and information officer at Brake, said: "Employers and drivers have a key role to play in making our streets safer for walking and cycling and preventing tragedies.

“Addressing and managing the risks caused by blind spots, and ensuring drivers are manoeuvring with the utmost care, is essential.

“This report sets out vital steps managers should take - whatever types of vehicles they run - to minimise blind spots and ensure drivers know how they can best protect vulnerable road users.

“Our subscribers have already been sent their copy; we'd urge other employers to order theirs today and ensure they're operating in line with our best practice recommendations."

The report and driver advice sheets are available for free to Brake subscribers or can be purchased for £5 by non-subscribers or will be available for free to Aviva's commercial customers.

However, the first 25 non-subscribers to request the resources through Brake's online form will get a copy for free. Go to www.brakepro.org/vulnerable-road-users.

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