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Driving for work is the leading topic of Project Edward 2020

by Eleonora Malacarne on Sep 16, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Driving for work is the leading topic of Project Edward 2020

The initiative known as Project Edward has this year Driving for Work as its leading topic.

After its start in 2019 as European Day Without A Road Death (EDWARD), Project EDWARD evolved into EVERY Day Without A Road Death and is going to be delivered in association with Highways England, Driving for Better Business, the Association of Road Risk Management (ARRM) and the charity TyreSafe to support the One Road, One Week campaign of police enforcement activity to be held this week, 14th – 18th September.

UK government figures show that in 2018 there were approximately 42,000 deaths and injuries involving someone who was driving for work at the time, with 82% of such deaths and injuries impacting other road users (not drivers). With over 20 million vehicles thought to be used for work, including those who use their own personal cars, this means the odds of being involved in an injury collision during the year are just 1 in 500.

During the police enforcement week, special attention will be paid to those who drive for work and to these particular areas:

  • Speed: many drivers do often undertake work with stressful work schedules that might make them prone to speed;
  • Maintenance: 5 million MOTs have been missed during lockdown including 1.2 million vans. Generally, around a third of vans fail their first MOT, so there could be 400,000 vans on the road likely to require critical maintenance;
  • Fatigue and compliance with drivers'hours checks;
  • Vehicle loading and overloading that can have dangerous consequences;
  • Driver behaviour in general, with mobile phone use, not wearing seat belts and not being in proper control of the vehicle as the top 3 offences;
  • Towing for work and doing it correctly.

To learn more about Project Edward, visit the website projectedward.org.

 

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Topics: Safe Driving, fleet safety, driving for work

Dutch research reveals 1 in 12 drivers plays videogames while driving

by Eleonora Malacarne on Sep 9, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Dutch research reveals 1 in 12 drivers plays videogames while driving

A recent study conducted by the Dutch Institute for Road Safety has shown that a significant and increasing number of drivers plays videogames while behind the wheel: in 2019, 8.2 per cent of the drivers interviewed admitted they had sometimes played games while driving, an increase of the 3 per cent from a 2017 survey. 70 per cent of drivers have admitted to use their mobile phones in some way while driving. Despite the different restrictions in force in the European countries and internationally, distracted driving remains a growing concern.

According to the WHO, drivers using mobile phones are 4 times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers not using a mobile phone, as using a phone while driving slows reaction times (notably braking reaction time, but also reaction to traffic signals) and makes it difficult to keep in the correct lane, and to keep the correct following distances.

According to different sources, with the lockdown distracted and dangerous driving have increased despite the traffic increasing in some countries, adding up to the risk associated with the driving profession and those deriving from the spread of Coronavirus.

The use of mobile phones behind the wheel can lead to different driver distractions:

  • Visual (the eyes are not looking at the road);
  • Cognitive (the mind is off the road);
  • Physical (the hands are on the phone and not on the steering wheel);
  • Auditory (minor, but referring to the ringing of the phone or notifications sounds).

Not having your eyes, mind, hands and ears on the road can have the same impact as being impaired because of drug or drink driving, provoking slower reaction, erratic driving and trouble in maintaining appropriate speed or distance, with a global reaction of driver awareness that can lead to serious consequences. Commercial drivers are especially at risk now because of the repetitiveness and multitasking nature of their job and as their mental health can be more influenced by the extra risks coming into place with COVID-19. Make sure you support your driving team and talk to us if you want to learn more on how to eliminate distracted driving in your fleet.

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, distracted driving, driver distraction, fleet safety

Dangerous driving in a pandemic: ETSC reports less deaths but more speeding

by Eleonora Malacarne on Sep 2, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Dangerous driving in a pandemic ETSC reports less deaths but more speeding

According to an ETSC report made public in the month of July 2020, the COVID-19 lockdown had an impact on the reduction of road deaths overall in Europe.

In April 2020, 910 people lost their lives in road collisions in the EU25, compared to the 1415 on average during the reference period, accounting for a 36% reduction. As a term of comparison, fatalities on the road in the EU declined by just 3% between 2018 and 2019, and by 24% over the decade 2010-2019.

While these numbers can definitely be welcomed as positive, some other issues have arisen in the same timeframe, throughout the whole Europe, as it seems traffic volume has not decreased at the same level road deaths did, and speeding has increased.

The report lists the findings in the different EU countries, here is some of the data shared:

  • Speed violations detected by a sample of fixed safety cameras have increased by 39% in Spain, where there has also been an increase in HGV occupant deaths

  • An increase in global traffic has been experienced in Italy when lockdown measures have eased, with a greater use of private vehicles and a higher use of electric mobility

  • In Hungary, police enforcement of COVID-19 regulations has led to less attention to traffic offences, with drivers taking advantages of empty roads to take more risks

  • In the Netherlands, despite the pandemic containment measures led to less traffic and a lower total number of collision, but despite this, the number of road deaths registered increased by 13% in April 2020 compared to April 2017-2019 average

  • In France, road travel decreased during lockdown, but speed cameras reported an increase of the most serious speeding offences (50% above the legal limit) compared with the same period of last year.

 

Dovilė Adminaitė, ETSC Road Safety Performance Index project manager, who led the research, commented:

“The Covid-19 lockdown has led to a huge disruption in mobility in Europe. There have been positive changes such as a rise in people walking and cycling and the installation of pop-up cycle infrastructure and lower speed limits in dense urban areas. However there will be big risks moving forward if people avoid public transport and prioritise car use in urban areas.  We need to rapidly improve the infrastructure for walking and cycling in urban, but also in rural areas. If governments, cities and towns don’t adapt to this new reality, the saving of lives on the roads during lockdown could soon be reversed.” 

 

 

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Topics: fleet safety, Covid-19

Vehicles in the workplace are the biggest killer in Ireland

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 3, 2019 8:02:00 AM

Vehicles in the workplace are the biggest killer in Ireland

According to figures recently released by the Health and Safety Authority of Ireland (HSA), vehicles are the leading cause of death in Irish workplaces.

The source of the aforementioned figures is the Authority’s 2018 Annual Report, showing that there were 39 work-related fatalities reported to the HSA in 2018, compared to 48 in 2017, a decline of 19%. But the single biggest danger last year came from vehicles in the workplace, with 17 lives lost across all industries last year.

The farming sector suffered 15 work-related deaths in 2018, compared to 25 in 2017, a decline of 40%, while construction had five work-related deaths.

Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, said workplace deaths cause great trauma and personal suffering for families every year. While welcoming the decline in workplace fatalities, he said: “We should remember that any improvement in numbers provides little comfort to the family, friends and colleagues of the dozens of Irish people whose lives were cut short this year while doing their job.”

Dr Sharon McGuinness, Chief Executive Officer of the HSA, said that the fatality statistics show how vehicles are now the biggest threat to life in the Irish workplace. “Whether it’s a farmer driving a tractor in a yard, or a truck driver delivering a load, across all sectors, incidents involving vehicles accounted for almost half - or 44% - of all deaths last year. The worrying trend is continuing with six deaths provisionally recorded so far this year in the transportation sector” she said.

Tractors were involved in the majority of workplace vehicle incidents last year and claimed six lives but cars, refuse trucks and forklifts were also involved in fatalities.

Expressing concern at the devastation caused by work tragedies on bereaved families, Dr McGuinness urged everyone to be aware of the risks posed by moving vehicles in all workplaces. A change in mindset is required to reduce the numbers of workers dying or suffering serious injury as a result of workplace vehicles: complacency is costing lives.

“Drivers at work often forget about the same hazards that they look out for when driving on the road, like properly maintaining their vehicles, and paying attention to pedestrians when reversing. These checks could help prevent a fatal catastrophe to themselves or a work colleague,” Dr McGuinness concluded.

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, fleet safety, Health and Safety at work

Use of mobile phone behind the wheel: driver skips sanctions thanks to legal loophole

by Eleonora Malacarne on Sep 19, 2019 9:02:00 AM

Use of mobile phone behind the wheel driver skips sanctions thanks to legal loophole

There is still no clarity by the British government regarding the modification of part of the highway code dedicated to the use of mobile phones behind the wheel. The law has come under recent scrutiny in August after two sentences set a new precedent.

Ramsey Barreto had a conviction quashed for filming a crash on his mobile phone. The 51-year-old was prosecuted and found guilty after police saw him driving past an accident while using his phone to record a video. However, he had the conviction overturned at Isleworth Crown Court, last October, after his lawyers successfully argued that the law only banned the use of mobile phones to speak or communicate while behind the wheel. Publishing its decision last month, the High Court dismissed an appeal by the director of public prosecutions (DPP), agreeing with Barreto’s lawyers’ initial argument. The High Court Judge, Lady Justice Thirlwall, concluded with this statement: “The legislation does not prohibit all uses of a mobile phone held while driving. It prohibits driving while using a mobile phone or other device for calls and other interactive communication (and holding it at some stage during that process).” An incredibly literal interpretation of the law that placed doubt on what we could consider as irresponsible or unsafe driving or its opposite. However, the Judge made it clear “that you could still be prosecuted for driving without due care or dangerous driving, which carry potentially far higher punishments.”

The second case concerned Chief Constable Kerrin Wilson, who appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court. It followed a crash involving a Mini Countryman and a Hyundai i30 that took place at 5.33pm on December 21, 2018 on Deepdale Lane in Nettleham. While Wilson was driving her Mini Countryman (which she’d only had for a week), she apparently got distracted with Bluetooth controls and when trying to make a call with her hands-free system, ending up drifting onto the wrong side of the road and crashing into the oncoming Hyundai i30. Wilson entered a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity when she was charged with driving without due care and attention; then was promptly refused entry when she turned up ten minutes late for a driver improvement course on June 17th, 2019. Chief Constable Wilson was given seven points on her license and fined a total of £1,460, including a £125 victim surcharge and £85 in court costs.

The law regulating the use of devices behind the wheel is now 16 years old. The two cases have brought up the necessity of putting a prohibition on any possible physical activity on a hands-free device, mobile phone, tablet or smartphone behind the wheel even if it does not include communicating. At the time of writing, the law still stays the same.

 

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When fleet safety is airport safety: ground handler fined for cutting in front of moving plane

by Eleonora Malacarne on Sep 17, 2019 9:03:00 AM

When fleet safety is airport safety ground handler fined for cutting in front of moving plane

The perception that airport ramps and runways are only occupied by aircraft servicing our travel requirements is obviously not the whole picture, as other aircraft and a multitude of motorized and non-motorized assets are manoeuvring at the same time according to specific timeframes to make air travel possible. And as such, airports are definitely not exempt from the need for safe driving—rules have equally to be respected in this environment or your licence can be revoked...

This is precisely what happened to a ground handler working for the company Saigon Ground Services at the airport of Tan Son Nhat in Vietnam. The news reported that a ground handler drove his vehicle onto the runway, forcing a Vietnam Airlines plane to make a sudden stop on August 19. The driver, whose name has not been made public, has been fined the equivalent of $172/€156 for not maintaining a safe distance from the plane on the runway. The Vietnam Airlines plane was forced to stop suddenly.

The incident was not the only near-miss to occur at the airport last month, as a driver of a mobile boarding ramp lost control on August 21 and hit an aircraft waiting to depart for Osaka, Japan. The collision caused a dent in the aircraft’s fuselage and postponed the flight for one day, with the aircraft now having been sent for repairs and checks. The driver, who has not been named, said the vehicle “suddenly shifted gears” and crashed into the plane.

When on the ground, aircrafts face far more risks from the various other agents operating in the shared airport space—not only other airplanes but fuel trucks, tugs, support vehicles, catering trucks, buildings, obstacles and so on. The ground area of an airport is a very busy place indeed… where the kind of unsafe practices just mentioned ought never to happen.

According to the whitepaper Solutions to the High Costs of Aircraft Ground Damage, occupational hazards, injuries and absences from the workplace result in multi-billion dollar costs close to $4B to the aviation industry and more specifically in the ground operations sector. In terms of aircraft ground damages, the $4B figure is closer to around $12B when the ancillary costs related to injuries, staff shortages, insurance-related costs to both employers and employees and other factors are taken into consideration.

If your ground handling organisation doesn’t want to be part of these statistics (and we assume that’s invariably the case), talk to us to see how to streamline your airport ground operations and run a safe airport fleet.

 

 

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Topics: fleet safety, Airport fleet management

Brake's Road Safety Week 2019 scheduled for November 18th to 24th

by Eleonora Malacarne on Aug 13, 2019 9:02:00 AM

Brakes Road Safety Week 2019 scheduled for November 18th to 24th

Brake's Road Safety Week 2019 has been scheduled for the days between November 18th and 24th, 2019, with registrations for employers opened at www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/organisations.

The event, which has taken place for 22 years, is a great opportunity to promote life-saving messages and show commitment to road safety to employees and their families, customers, suppliers and local community.

The initiative, which this year has been particularly promoted by the Department for Transport, is encouraging  support to the Global Fleet Champions scheme, which aims to prevent crashes and reduce pollution caused by vehicles used for work purposes, but also wishes to animate employers to take the lead in promoting safe and healthy journeys through policies and procedures in place that maximise road safety, reducing risk.

Employers can reigster for a free action pack to help them promote road and driver safety, including advice, ideas and resources linked to the 2019 theme "Step up for Safe Streets", such as guidance sheets, facts sheets, infographics and interactive tools for both adults and children.

According to Brake's Community Engagement Manager, Dave Nichols, “With far too many people still being killed and seriously injured on our roads, this Road Safety Week we want everyone to “Step up for Safe Streets” and learn about, shout about and celebrate the amazing design-led solutions that can help us end this suffering and create a safe and healthy future for all."

Employers can really take the lead on safe and healthy journeys and help get these vital messages out to drivers, families and young people, making a big difference to their local community."

The first event is going to take place on September 10th: the webinar scheduled will host companies that have previously taken part in Road Safety Week, that will contribute with ideas on running successful activities and communication campaigns in organisations and communities dealing with road safety and vehicle management.

 

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Topics: Road Safety, News, Stats & Facts, fleet safety

DfT’s new safety action plan to reduce the number of injured and killed on UK roads

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jul 25, 2019 9:05:00 AM

DfT’s new safety action plan to reduce the number of injured and killed on UK roads

The UK’s Department for Transport has recently presented its new action plan to reduce the number of people killed and injured on UK roads.

The actions target different categories of drivers: fleet drivers, end users, young and old drivers and children, and actually focus on the essentials of road safety:

#1 – Use of seat belts. According to the CDC, seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45%, and cut the risk of serious injury by 50%. Seat belts prevent drivers and passengers from being ejected during a crash. People not wearing a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during a crash. According to ETSC sources, despite wearing rates of 98.6% for British car drivers, 27% of those who died in cars on the roads in 2017 were not wearing a seatbelt. These and other interesting figures have been published in the recent report “Seat Belts: the forgotten road safety priority”.

The new safety action plan will launch an initiative to increase the use of seat belts. Under the driver safety action plan, failure to wear a seatbelt could result in penalty points as well as fines, under new plans to reduce the number of deaths on the UK’s roads. This is one of 74 actions being considered to improve road safety.

#2 – Drink driving. Other measures under consideration include the use of ‘alcolocks’—devices which measure the alcohol in a driver’s breath and stop a vehicle from starting if the level is too high. The DfT has apparently invested in the development of roadside breathalysers too, which once finished, will enable suspected drink drivers to be tested directly at the roadside, without having to go back to the police station.

#3 – Incident data reporting via app. Part of the two year program taking place to see what works best in terms of strategies and enforcements, so as to maximise road safety at all times, consists in identifying gaps or improvement opportunities. In order to make sure this won’t be an additional burden on local police forces, DfT has rolled out a new version of the Collision Reporting and Sharing software and provided a smartphone app for existing police mobile devices. The app enables officers to accurately report crash data and locations on site, rather than having to return to a police station to duplicate paperwork on a computer.

According to Minister Michael Ellis, “This review will not only highlight where police forces are doing good work, it will show what more can be done to improve road safety.”

 

 

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Impaired driving summer crackdown: drink driving and drug driving in the crosshairs

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jun 6, 2019 9:03:00 AM

Impaired driving summer crackdown: drink driving and drug driving in the crosshairs

A drink driving crackdown this summer has kicked off in the UK this June as it can be a bad month for such offenses: according to data by AlcoSense Laboratories and shared by Fleet News, 1 in 10 motorists tested positive in June 2017 during a similar operation carried out in England and Wales, when around 36,000 drivers were tested (average number tested per month is around 24,000, excluding the Christmas period).

Statistics indicate a spike in drink driving during the month of June that coincides with warmer weather—motorists seem more inclined to drink drive and place themselves at risk during this period. Of the drink driving convictions recorded in June 2017, 17.8% of them fall under the definition of ‘morning after’. The record for most stopped belongs to Merseyside (3010 breathalysed drivers) and the number of people killed in road accidents where the driver was over the drink drive limit has risen by an alarming 45% in only two years. Figures released by the Department for Transport in February suggested there were 290 such deaths in 2017, compared with 200 in 2015.

As for impaired driving, in Ireland the RSA is continuing the drug driving awareness campaign launched in 2017 (as driving under the influence of drugs has been a statutory offence since 1961, but it was not until April 2017 that an effective drug testing method was introduced roadside and in Garda stations), focussing particularly on the beginning of June (and on the bank holiday weekend just gone). The Irish Medical Bureau of Road Safety has reported a rise of approximately 43% in the number of blood and urine specimens received for alcohol and drugs testing in the first four months of the year when compared to the same period in 2018. Data shared by An Garda Síochána show that the number of arrests for ‘Driving Under the Influence’ (DUI), which includes alcohol or drugs or a combination of both, is up 15%. There were 2,694 arrests for DUI from Jan-April 2019, versus 2,343 for Jan-April 2018.

Impaired driving has been detected as the cause of more than half of all car crashes. This means operating a motor vehicle while you are affected by alcohol, drugs (legal or illegal), drowsiness and sleepiness, distractions or relevant medical conditions. All of these are killer behaviours that can pose serious risks for you, your drivers, your company and other road users.

 

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Ireland celebrates Slow Down Day, but drivers are caught 50% over speed limit

by Eleonora Malacarne on May 28, 2019 9:02:00 AM

Ireland celebrates Slow Down Day, but drivers are caught 50 over speed limit

An Garda Síochána launched the annual 'National Slow Down Day' for a 24 hour period from 07.00 am on Friday 24th May to 07.00 am on Saturday 25th May 2019. The event is intended to reduce the number of speed related collisions, save lives and reduce injuries on the roads.

In terms of road safety, 2018 was the lowest on record with 146 road deaths; however, that doesn’t automatically mean there is no room for improvement. The trend has in fact altered in 2019 according to the data analysed so far. There was a 46% increase in the number of drivers detected speeding on the roads in the first three months of this year, compared to the same period last year. More than 36,000 people have been caught speeding between January and March 2019.

According to the first reports released last Saturday, four drivers who were caught speeding during the initiative (and despite it) were travelling more than 50% above the speed limit. In total, An Garda Síochána and GoSafe had checked 195,768 vehicles and detected 304 travelling in excess of the speed limit on the Saturday.

Excessive and unsuitable speed is a primary cause of road traffic accidents. This is borne out by an RSA report on fatal accidents between 2008 and 2012, which confirmed that excessive speed was a major factor in almost one third of all fatalities during the period. 

The greater the speed, the higher probability of an accident and, as you might expect, the more serious the resulting damage. As a general rule, a 1% reduction in average speed will bring about a 4% reduction in fatal collisions; and this is why reducing drivers’ speed for both commercial and other road users is essential to improving road safety.

If you need to get started with speeding prevention and want to promote safe, better driving within your fleet, contact us.

 

 

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