While the UK has enjoyed a milder start to winter in 2011 than in recent years, bad weather will still be a key issue over the coming months, particularly for fleets.   The Fleet Safety Forum has today published new guidance for fleet managers on the topic of ‘Driver Safety in Bad Weather’.

    While winter makes for heightened awareness of this issue, the guidance highlights that bad weather is increasingly a road safety issue throughout the year.   In the UK in 2010, 33% of all fatal road crashes occurred when roads were wet, flooded, icy or snowy.[1]

    Fleet managers must plan ahead to account for the disruption caused by adverse weather, with the safest option always being to ensure drivers do not have to go out on the roads in dangerous conditions. Drivers need to be educated and reminded about the importance of avoiding risky situations on the roads, as well as what to do if they do get caught in a sudden snowfall, fog or high winds for instance.

    The Fleet Safety Forum guidance provides practical advice for fleet managers on how to approach this topic in terms of journey planning, communication with drivers, and equipping fleet vehicles appropriately. There is an Advice for Drivers section that can be provided as a separate document to circulate to staff or post on intranet sites.

    The guidance is available for free to Fleet Safety Forum subscribers, or can be purchased for £5 by non-subscribers.   *Special offer* the first 50 non-subscribers to request the guidance will get a copy for FREE.   Please email forum@brake.org.uk or call  01484 559909  to order.

    The Fleet Safety Forum is a low cost, not-for-profit subscription service, run by road safety charity Brake. It supports fleet managers in reducing the human and financial costs associated with road crashes involving at-work drivers. Annual subscription costs just £155 +VAT (discounts available for smaller fleets), and subscribers get access to advice, guidance and other resources to help them improve road safety from within their organisation. Find out more and subscribe online at www.fleetsafetyforum.org.

    Roz Cumming, development manager at Brake, said: “While attention in the UK turns to winter, the Fleet Safety Forum wants to highlight the risks associated with driving in bad weather at any time. Our guidance gives accessible, practical advice and information that managers can use to manage this risk and keep their drivers and other road users safe, during the holiday season and beyond.”   Steve Coffin, Marketing & Operations Director for MiX Telematics, said: “While a key aspect of our work in the fleet management arena is to help reduce road risk all year round, at no time is this more important than during the winter months when safe and careful driving is essential.

    That’s why we are backing Brake’s Fleet Safety Forum’s ‘Driver Safety in Bad Weather’ publication.  I would urge all fleet operators to acquire a copy and put its good ideas into practice.”