Brake and Aviva call on fleets to protect vulnerable road users by tackling blind spots
Brake, the road safety charity, is offering expert guidance to help fleets prevent crashes with pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists by addressing blind spots, reducing risky manoeuvring, and raising awareness among drivers. The guidance, published through Brake’s Fleet Safety Forum, produced in conjunction with Aviva, one of the UK’s leading insurers, includes expert insights, best practice case studies and sample advice sheets for drivers.
In 2012, 866 cyclists, pedestrians and motorbikers were killed and 13,781 were seriously injured on UK roads – that’s 40 deaths and serious injuries per day, 60% of all UK road deaths and serious injuries [i]. These road users are particularly vulnerable to vehicles manoeuvring, as they are more easily missed in drivers’ blind spots. 75% of cyclist collisions in Britain occur at or near junctions [ii].
All vehicles have blind spots, although different vehicles have them in different places, and larger vehicles have larger blind spots. Brake and Aviva are therefore advising organisations with vehicles of any type or size to take action to minimise the blind spot risk and protect vulnerable road users.
The guidance report Protecting vulnerable road users from vehicle blind spots advises fleet managers on steps they can take to reduce the dangers to people on foot and bike, including technology, risk assessments, driver engagement, and vehicle selection. It includes a case study from a company that has addressed its blind spot risk, and information on technological developments. The attached driver advice sheets include tips on safe, slow manoeuvring for drivers of commercial vehicles and cars and vans.
The report and driver advice sheets are available for free to Fleet Safety Forum subscribers, can be purchased for £5 by non-subscribers or will be available for free to Aviva’s commercial customers. Special offer: the first 25 non-subscribers to request the resources through Brake’s online form will get a copy for FREE.
This guidance comes as Brake starts building up to Road Safety Week, the UK’s flagship road safety event, this year 17-23 November, focusing on the theme “Look out for each other”. Brake will be calling on everyone to look out for one another on roads, but particularly drivers to help protect vulnerable road users. Employers are encouraged to register now to get involved, which could include running internal awareness-raising to promote safe driving, or launching new risk management initiatives, or working with the local community. Employers can register for an action pack at www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/action-pack.
Laura Woods, research and information officer at Brake, said: “Brake believes people have a right to be able to walk and cycle without being endangered. Employers and drivers have a key role to play in making our streets safer for walking and cycling and preventing tragedies. Addressing and managing the risks caused by blind spots, and ensuring drivers are manoeuvring with the utmost care, is essential. This report sets out vital steps managers should take – whatever types of vehicles they run – to minimise blind spots and ensure drivers know how they can best protect vulnerable road users. Our Fleet Safety Forum subscribers have already been sent their copy; we’d urge other employers to order theirs today and ensure they’re operating in line with our best practice recommendations.”
Maurice Tulloch, UK & Ireland General Insurance CEO, Aviva said: “We fully support the work of Brake. At Aviva, we see all too often the tragic outcomes of when a vehicle and a Vulnerable Road User (VRUs) come into contact and have noted an increasing trend in this area. We take the protection of VRUs seriously which is why it is a priority on our motor risk management agenda and we believe that raising awareness is key to addressing the growing issues we are witnessing on the UK’s roads. We are working with customers and their insurance brokers on this subject to highlight the risks faced by their drivers and share best practice on how they should interact with VRUs whilst on the road, and the publication of this report will support these conversations.”
[i] Reported road casualties Great Britain 2012, Department for Transport, 2014
[ii] Reported road casualties Great Britain 2012, Department for Transport, 2014
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