In the driving seat: Ensuring your vehicle is fit for the road

Transport August 14, 2020

RSK’s Safe Driving Campaign, organised by RSK’s Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) team, was launched in July 2020 and aims to encourage RSK employees to think before they take to the driving seat.

With the coronavirus pandemic restricting how often many of us have been out on the road over the last few months, it is especially important to remind ourselves of the necessary safety precautions that need to be taken before starting a journey.

“Driving is among the riskiest activities that most of us will undertake,” comments Alex McKinlay, RSK Group Fleet Manager. “In the UK, 75% of adults hold a full car driving licence. [1] Given the common nature of driving, it is easy to become blasé and overlook basic elements of safe driving. The policies that RSK has in place help to protect our teams, especially as we have been driving less frequently during the coronavirus pandemic.”

One of the things that needs to be considered is the vehicle that you are driving, particularly if that vehicle has not been used in a while.

RSK’s fleet consists of over 1000 vehicles across the group; there are over 150 different types from 40 manufacturers. This is in addition to long- and short-term hire vehicles and the thousands of personal vehicles that we would ordinarily use to commute to and from work (although this number has been vastly reduced in recent months as we all adapt to a new way of working).

RSK has a thorough vehicle check procedure that must be undertaken on every vehicle that we use. This checklist, used for the RSK fleet, could also be used on your personal vehicle to ensure that it is road ready.

  • Inspection of tyre condition (tread depth: cars and vans must be at least 1.6mm, other vehicles differ; no signs of damage)
  • Lights (all external lights, including braking lights, must be working correctly)
  • No engine warning lights
  • Fuel, coolant and washer bottle levels correct
  • Mirrors appropriately positioned
  • Cleanliness
  • Spare tyre/space saver or compressor and accessories available
  • First aid kit available
  • Fire extinguisher available
  • Warning triangle and hi-vis vest available

“My top tip for safe driving would be never to ignore a warning light and to ensure that you know what your dashboard warning lights mean,” comments Alex. “If you feel the vehicle or the driving conditions are dangerous for any reason, find somewhere safe to stop and park the vehicle. RSK’s Golden Safety Rule Number 9 gives all RSK employees the authority to stop work if they feel something is unsafe and we encourage everyone to follow this mantra. Safety should be your top priority.”

 

[1] Source: National Travel Survey: England 2018 and Table NTS0201