What you can do to protect yourself when driving for work

Road traffic law has primacy over health and safety law. This means that when you drive, you are likely to be the principal dutyholder as far as road traffic law is concerned. There are at least 25 pieces of legislation, guidance and protocol relating to at-work driving, covering a range of matters such as speed, insurance, vehicle roadworthiness, mobile phone use and drink-driving.

There are things that you can do to protect yourself while on the road. They include:

  • Take regular breaks to prevent fatigue. Almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep-related
  • Never use a mobile while driving. You are four times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone
  • Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Remember: some prescription drugs can adversely affect your ability to drive
  • Report vehicle defects and never drive a defective vehicle
  • Inform your line manager of any health problems or personal circumstances that could make driving hazardous
  • Have regular eye tests and, if necessary, use your eyewear
  • Drive within speed limits and to the speed dictated by conditions, which may mean driving at less than the limit
  • Carry out weekly regular checks of your vehicle, examining things like brake function, oil, coolant and windscreen wash levels, and tyre condition.
  • Carry out checks before you set out on a journey, looking at issues such as whether the brakes and indicators are working, and that the mirrors are correctly positioned.

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