Recently a member of the Garda Traffic Corps did a presentation in which two short video clips were shown. The purpose of these two clips was to demonstrate the importance of securing a load of any type on a trailer or back of a van.
The first video was from a ‘dash cam’ which was located on the dashboard of a Garda squad car. In the video you could see a small open trailer. In the trailer there was a large amount of wasted concrete stacked high. This load wasn’t covered or secured and straight away you could see that there was a clear danger of the load falling out of the trailer. You could only imagine what might possibly happen if one of those large bits of concrete fell off while the van was driving down the road.
The second video that was shown addressed this in a terrifying way. In the video, which was not filmed in Ireland, a car was travelling on a dual-carriageway. All of a sudden it hits, what you can just make out to be, a large rock that was on the road in its path. When the car hit the rock it caused the front driver-side tyre to blowout. If this is where the video ended you would consider it to be an annoying inconvenience for the driver of the car.
What actually happened next was very distressing to watch. The car veered severely to the right and smashed into the crash barrier on the right-hand side of the road. It was then flipped back into the middle of the road. At this point it was then hit by the truck that was videoing the whole thing on its own ‘dash cam‘. The car then continued on across the road, due to the impact of the truck, and crashed into the barrier in the central median where it finally came to a stop. The car was upside down and destroyed.
You might be asking why we have a blog talking about two videos shown by the Gardaí. Well the videos, for us, raise questions about how seriously road safety is taken by those who drive as part of their job. By this we refer to people who drive for a living, not those who drive when commuting to and from work.
From what we know, when it comes to safety, there is no difference between what job you have or what vehicle you drive, although the vast majority of these people drive vans.
While it’s an employer’s legal responsibility to manage any risks in the course of work, a study by the RSA, HSA and Gardai shows that two-in-three businesses do not provide road safety information to employees who drive as part of their job.
What was even more startling about the study it the fact that half the businesses surveyed had no policies or procedures.
According to the study, if you drive as part of your job, you are exposing yourself to more driving accidents than those who do not drive for a living. This may seem obvious but when you find out that this equates to a 30-40% higher risk of a collision than that of an ordinary driver. When you factor this in and also the fact that it is the law, you can see that it is important that businesses understand the importance of providing information and policies regarding road safety for their employees.
Unfortunately many of the companies involved in the study noted costs are a deterrent to implementing road safety schemes for their employees. Experience shows that businesses that invest in improving staff safety on the road enjoy a big return – reduced numbers of crashes and incidents, which in turn resulted in reduced maintenance costs and lower insurance premiums.
Another thing to factor in is the reputation of the company. How will your customers react after seeing your branded van all over the news after being involved in a high-profile road accident?
As a van insurance broker, we take road safety very seriously both here at Insuremyvan.ie and at our sister company Insuremyshop.ie, that deals with business insurance.
If you would like to know more information about what van insurance we can offer you and your business, don’t hesitate to get in contact with one of our specialists. You can call us on 01 660 6900, or you can fill out our van insurance quote form and we will be in contact with you.