Duty of care under health and safety law applies to all staff who drive vehicles for work. Legally, this includes your grey fleet as well as company-owned, leased or hired cars.
For some companies, that’s a lot of vehicles to be checking. As a result, it’s easy to see how thinking, implementing or even updating a driving policy is at the bottom of any organisation’s to-do list.
This flippant mentality is just the proverbial accident waiting to happen.
Make sure you have a driving policy, fit for purpose for your organisation.
Safety needs to be at the top of an organisation’s list of priorities
Recent research from a study commission by Driving for Better Business (DfBB) reveals some shocking attitudes. This association is part of the government-backed Highways England programme. Their mission is to raise awareness of the business benefits that come from improved management of occupational road risk. This recent survey reveals shockingly dangerous attitudes and behaviours of executive directors and employees to the risks of driving for work.
The Censuswide analysis reveals a tension between what executive directors claim and what employees say is happening.
The findings show three quarters (75%) of executive directors claim employees are aware of their legal obligations. Nevertheless, nearly half (45%) of employees survey-respondents claim never seeing a copy of their employer’s driving for work policy.
The report found that business leaders are not performing checks on employees who drive their cars for work purposes. Three in five leaders (60%) state they don’t know how many employees use their car to drive for work purposes. 90% of the employees in the survey say they use their cars for work journeys. Of this number, 75% do so at least once a week. Furthermore, a third of these drivers (33%) do not have cover for business use on their vehicle insurance. Only a third (34%) say their employer has not checked their driving licence.
Mobile phones are a real safety threat
More worryingly some executive directors are ignoring the law when it comes to mobile phone usage. As a result, their behaviour is adversely impacting on employee wellbeing. Nearly half of business leaders polled (49%) expect their employees to answer their calls at any time, including while driving. Almost half of the employees (45%) said they experience stress when they receive a call from their boss while driving. One in six employees (17%) say they had been involved in an incident when driving due to a phone call. Despite it being illegal, 1 in 20 executive directors and 1 in 8 employees thought the hard shoulder was a safe place to take a call.
Employees mirror dangerous behaviours around mobile phone usage while driving. Six in 10 (61%) employees admit they do not always find a safe place to make or receive a work call. Just over one in eight employees (13%) think it safe to take a call while parked on the hard shoulder of a motorway.
In addition, the survey found an inadequate approach to vehicle checks and maintenance by employees. Nearly three-quarters of employees who drive for work (74%) said when they check their tyres, they take a glance to see that tyres look ‘OK’.
What can we learn from this health and safety survey?
Simon Turner, Campaign Manager, Driving for Better Business, said: “The report shows a disparity between what employers and employees are saying when driving for work. Business leaders are failing to communicate and implement a robust driving for work policy to keep those who drive for work safe, particularly for those who use their cars (‘Grey Fleet’). Leaders are failing to carry out necessary due diligence checks such as ensuring that all employees have a driving licence or vehicle insurance.
“Leaders must implement a driving for work policy that enforces legal and ethical obligations on all employees that drive on work-related journeys. Regular checks need to be put in place to ensure that employees have read and understood the guidelines laid out in the driving for work policy.”
It may seem overwhelming having all these legal obligations, but implementing a driving policy will reduce risk to other road users and pedestrians.
Safety in an app
You can rely on Fuel Card Services. We make the whole process of duty of care easier with MyDriveSafe.Expert app.
MyDriveSafe.Exert gives drivers a simple, comprehensive range of checklists, covering vehicles and compliance with constantly-updated safety standards – all from a smartphone app that’s free to download. It then gives managers the ability to track these checks easily and from anywhere.
MyDriveSafe.Expert has a comprehensive suite of services. These services include the following: the ability to: customise checklists, report vehicle defects quickly, send manager email alerts, create a driver disclaimer for grey fleets, look up a vehicle’s DVLA information, and even function when there’s no internet connection.
For just £1 per vehicle per month, MyDriveSafe.Expert offers numerous cost-saving advantages in addition to helping to prevent legal fines. It speeds up administration time, records the time taken to perform checks, creates incident/accident reports, and produces a clear audit trail.
Information is tamper-proof when saved and can report with images and notes. Vehicle defects are displayed until resolved, and assuring compliance for protection against potential legal issues.