Brake, the road safety charity, has published a new report for fleet managers on maintaining safe vehicles. Sponsored by Licence Bureau and published through Brake’s Fleet Safety Forum, the report contains results of a Brake survey of fleets’ management of vehicle safety, and gives guidance on how fleet managers can ensure vehicles are safely maintained.Inadequate vehicle maintenance can cost lives: vehicle defects contributed to 2,125 crashes in Great Britain in 2011, 52 of them causing deaths. It is vital that fleet managers ensure their vehicles are safe and roadworthy, and that mechanics working on their vehicles are properly trained.
Brake’s survey found outsourcing of vehicle servicing and repair is widespread: two thirds (63%) of managers surveyed outsourced all their vehicle servicing and repair. It is therefore concerning that fleet managers who outsourced services and repairs were less stringent in their checks of mechanics working on their vehicles. Just half (52%) of companies using outsourced maintenance ensured mechanics’ qualifications were checked and verified, and less than a quarter (23%) ensured regular training was provided.
Regular pre-drive checks of vehicles are also vital for ensuring that vehicles are safe for the road. This is equally important for all vehicle types, but seems to be taken more seriously by fleets containing large vehicles such as trucks or buses. All fleets operating larger vehicles required checks at least daily, but almost one in five (18%) managers of fleets with only smaller vehicles did not require their drivers to complete pre-drive checks at all.
Laura Woods, research and information officer at Brake, says: “Fleet managers have a duty to ensure their vehicles are safe, well-maintained and roadworthy, and that the mechanics working on their vehicles are fully qualified and their skills are kept up to date. This report has highlighted worrying gaps in some fleets’ management of vehicle risks. Brake urges fleet managers to make use of the advice in this report, and other resources available through the Fleet Safety Forum, to ensure they are not putting their drivers and other road users at risk by allowing dangerous vehicles on the roads.”
Les Owen from Licence Bureau says: “I remain amazed that those who manage fleets do not take this seriously and monitor more adequately the quality of maintenance staff and the safety of the vehicles they have in their fleets. The responsibility to ensure vehicles are safe and fit for purpose is part of the duty of care and companies need to verify that they have appropriate procedures in place to avoid incidents which could be prevented by management control and monitoring of vehicle maintenance.”
To read the full report – click on the image below…