For many companies, the efficient operation of your fleet of commercial vehicles is a crucial component for successful business. With the colder, darker nights of the winter months well and truly here, it is vital that your commercial vehicles, and indeed your drivers, are properly prepared for winter journeys. Winter weather can be unpredictable, especially in Northern Ireland, and can create extremely hazardous conditions on roads.
Statistics from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (2018) show that casualty rates on Northern Ireland roads peak between 8am and 10am, and 3pm and 7pm, during the working week. This increases further during the winter months, when there are longer periods of darkness and worsening weather conditions that drivers may not feel confident or experienced in. Therefore, there should be a carefully considered safety plan put in place by all businesses to protect their drivers and fleet.
Whether driving commercial vehicles for work or carrying out your daily commute, make sure you are prepared for longer journeys, as the weather can change dramatically even throughout one trip. Before setting out, check the weather forecast and travel news to plan what your safest route would be.
Ensure your vehicle is equipped with an emergency kit with supplies in case of a breakdown. Also, don’t forget to check your tyres; these are essential for both steering and braking, so it is vital that they are not bald in any weather condition. In order for your insurance policy to be valid, your vehicle must be road-worthy in the event of a claim.
Last winter, motorists across the UK made over 13,100 insurance claims, worth £17 million, for car damage during the stormy weather (ThisIsMoney, 2018). Businesses should check that all commercial vehicles on the road are covered under their company’s fleet insurance, and also urge all employees to check their own policies to ensure they are protected for their commutes, when driving their own vehicles.
As a business, it is often difficult to avoid the impact that winter can have, but it is possible to ensure you weather the storm with the proper insurance in place. Fleet insurance cover is fundamental at this time of year, giving both business owners and employees peace of mind during the festive period and beyond. For more information about and employee training programmes and how you can streamline your risk management processes, visit autoline.co.uk/business/risk-management.