Safe Vehicle


30 May
30May

Who is responsible for the vehicle?


If your employer provides the vehicle, they must make sure that
it is properly registered, taxed, DOE or NCT tested as well as
insured. They are required to have vehicles serviced according to
the manufacturer’s recommendations.


Your employer will need to advise you when services and
roadworthiness inspections are due and make necessary
arrangements. Regular servicing helps to avoid faults and
unexpected breakdowns. Your employer should advise clearly on
your responsibilities in respect of company provided vehicles.
There should be a clear rule that any vehicle that is, or suspected
to be, in an unsafe or illegal condition will not be used until all
necessary repairs have been completed.

AS A DRIVER, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ENSURING THAT
THE VEHICLE YOU ARE DRIVING IS SAFE TO USE ON THE ROAD AND MEETS ALL LEGAL REQUIREMENTS. THIS IS REGARDLESS OF OWNERSHIP


Using your own vehicle

If you are using your own vehicle for work purposes, then you are responsible for its road worthiness, motor tax, insurance and condition.

Your employer has a legal duty to verify that your vehicle is safe and legal when it is being used for work. It is essential that if you use your own vehicle for work (excluding commuting), your motor insurance policy includes cover for business use. Make sure you inform your insurers that you use the vehicle for work, and how you do so. Some employers set rules (e.g. age limits, safety features) for the type of vehicle that can be used for work purposes.

Your employer may have rules requiring you to:
 Show documentary evidence that your vehicle has valid
motor tax and valid roadworthiness certificate
 Show documentary evidence, that you are insured to drive
your vehicle for business use
 Show evidence that your vehicle is serviced according to the
manufacturer’s recommendations. Agree to conduct regular
vehicle safety checks
 Not carry loads for which the vehicle is unsuited (a car is not
a van)
 Not carry hazardous materials
 Only carry the number of passengers for whom there are
seat belts
 Not use the vehicle in conditions for which it is not designed
(e.g. off-road)

Pre-drive vehicle checks

As a driver you must consider whether the vehicle is suitable for
the work task, for example:

 If carrying passengers, is there a seat belt for each occupant?
 If carrying children, are there appropriate child seats and
child restraints for each child that needs one?
 If carrying a heavy load or an animal, can you secure it safely?

If you find any problem during the check, report it to your
manager immediately.

THE MOST COMMON CAUSE OF VEHICLE BREAKDOWN
IS VEHICLE NEGLECT
DAILY PRE DRIVE CHECKS ARE A SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE
WAY TO SPOT POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS ISSUES BEFORE
THE VEHICLE IS USED
PRE-DRIVE PREVENTATIVE CHECKS ARE SIMPLE AND LESS
TIME-CONSUMING THAN THE BREAKDOWN THAT MAY
FOLLOW IF YOU DO NOT DO THEM


You need to check both the exterior and interior of the vehicle
before driving. Check the following:
 Tyres. Undamaged (no cuts or bulges), are at the correct
pressure and have enough tread depth all round. The legal
minimum is 1.6mm, but above 3mm gives much shorter
braking distances in the wet
 Vehicle body. No signs of damage or loose vehicle body
panels and that the boot and bonnet are closed properly
 Fluid levels. Oil, coolant and windscreen wash levels are
correct (check when cold)
 Fuel. Know the correct type of fuel for the vehicle [especially
for hire or loan cars]. Make sure the fuel cap closed and
secure

 Brakes. Working correctly. Make sure the parking brake is on
properly when parked and before exiting the vehicle at any
time
 Lights and indicators. Clean, not damaged and working
correctly. Carry spare bulbs in your vehicle
 Windscreen and windows. Clean and not damaged. No items
attached that may restrict driver’s view. Use of screen wash
in winter stops your water freezing. In summer this helps to
remove insects from windscreen
 Washers and wipers. Working correctly. It is recommended to
change wipers regularly. The rubber deteriorates over time
when exposed to the elements. An occasional wipe with
methylated spirits will prevent streaking
 Mirrors. Clean, correctly positioned for your maximum safe
vision and not damaged. No items attached that may restrict
driver’s view
 Documentation. All the legally required documentation is
displayed on the windscreen (i.e. Motor tax, Roadworthiness,
Insurance discs)
 Dashboard. Look at the dashboard when you start the car
and check which lights illuminate. If you are not familiar with
the vehicle, check the handbook to ensure you know what
the different lights mean
 Doors. Make sure that all of the vehicles doors are closed
properly
 Seat position. Adjust driver’s seat to suit you. You should be
able to see and reach all of the controls comfortably. Good
all-round, unobstructed, visibility is vital. Check that your
view is not obstructed by objects such as stickers or electronic
devices

 Head restraints. Adjust your head restraint correctly, and
check that every passenger has their head restraint correctly
adjusted. The top of the head restraint should be level with
the top of your head and it should be as close to the back of
your head as possible. This will help to protect against
whiplash, and prevent long-term injuries. Make sure your
head is not resting against the head restraint as it can
encourage drowsiness
 Handbrake or Parking brake. Make sure brake is applied
when you stop or park the vehicle
 Gears. Make sure the gears are in neutral or parked for
automatic vehicles
 Safety Belt. Do up your safety belt and check passengers are
wearing theirs and that any children are properly restrained
 Sat-Nav. Make sure that sat-nav is not placed where it might
be hit and flung forward by an airbag

IF IN ANY DOUBT HOW TO DO THESE CHECKS, READ THE
VEHICLE’S HANDBOOK, AND/OR ASK SOMEONE TO SHOW
YOU. ASK YOUR MANAGER IF THE ORGANISATION
PROVIDES A PRE-DRIVE CHECKLIST
REFER TO THE DRIVER WALK AROUND CHECKS POSTERS,
CHECKLISTS, INFORMATION SHEETS AND VIDEOS THAT CAN
BE ACCESSED AT WWW.GARDA.IE, WWW.HSA.IE AND
WWW.RSA.IE


Vehicle cleanliness

Windscreens/rear windows should be free from clutter to aid
efficient demisting of windscreen and optimal view of the road.
Dashboard and cab area should be kept clean and free of loose
items.

If eating in the vehicle, leftovers, wrappers and containers should
be disposed of immediately in a suitable manner. NEVER EAT
AND DRIVE AT THE SAME TIME.
Ensure items that could become lodged under drivers pedals are
safely stowed and cannot fall onto the floor of the driver’s cab.
E.g. bottles and cans.

Tyres
The life of tyres depends on how the vehicle is driven. Avoid
hitting tyres against kerbs, especially when parking as this may
weaken the tyre and may damage your wheel or wheel tracking.
Excessive speed, braking or acceleration will cause tyres to wear
faster. If tyres are not maintained at the manufacturer’s
recommended pressures, they will wear more quickly. You should
regularly check your tyres and if in any doubt, get them checked
by an authorised tyre dealer.
Check your spare tyre from time to time. Emergency wheels have
a maximum speed and may have a limit on the distance that can
be travelled. If the vehicle does not have a spare wheel, make
yourself familiar with the use of alternative equipment provided.
E.g. air compressor or temporary sealant.
If the vehicle is fitted with run flat tyres, make sure that you
know the limitations on use, such as maximum speed and
distance that can be travelled in the event of a puncture of loss
of pressure.


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