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Proceed with Caution - Increased Road Risk as Lockdown Fully Lifts

16/7/2021

Risk Control

With the imminent lifting of lockdown on the 19th July, the advice to ‘proceed with caution’ is something that perhaps many are associating chiefly with the use of face masks and exercising social distancing. With the lifting however come other risks that should be considered.

Driver Behaviour During Lockdown

As many people return to work and do the ‘daily commute’, the risk to drivers will undoubtedly increase. The majority of care workers will of course have been on the road throughout lockdown providing care in the home or travelling to work on a daily basis, however, they will soon be faced with an increase in volumes of vehicles on the road and drivers who perhaps may be more ‘rusty’ and anxious after a time of not driving as much. For some drivers who have remained on the road, research suggests that driver behaviour has deteriorated over the lockdown period with speeding and erratic driving on the increase.

Changes in Commuter Behaviour Post Lockdown

Changes observed in preferences in modes of transport may also increase risk on the roads as more commuters take to road based transport for their daily journeys. For example cycling has increased by 24% in the UK and the use of public transport is expected to fall from pre-pandemic levels, signalling an rise in road based travel such as driving and, if the current trial is successful, the future roll out of rental e scooters, all creating more traffic, vehicle volume and commuters adopting new modes of transport on the roads for the first time. More people walking to work will also increase the number of pedestrians crossing roads.

With all this in mind, now is a good time to ensure your staff and you yourself, are prepared for the changes.  

Consider the following, especially if you have a motor fleet as part of your care provision:

  • Carry out vehicle safety and maintenance checks before putting vehicles back onto the road if they have not been used regularly
  • Ensure the right insurance is in place with breakdown cover if you require it
  • Report any accidents early to insurers to prevent third party claims costs escalating. The quicker your own insurer can deal with it, the better in the long run
  • Ensure all of your drivers have the claims contact numbers available ready to use in event of an incident
  • Carry out regular driving licence checks for your drivers, ensuring no points or convictions have occurred that you are not aware of
  • Provide your staff with a company drivers handbook and a policy on immediate claims reporting or reviewing what is already in place
  • Consider carrying out driver training of staff whether this is done via online training or in person to promote safe driving
Quality Care Group can assist with all of the above and more, to ensure you fully mitigate any driver and fleet risk as the UK transitions back to pre-COVID commuting levels. For more information speak to Jade Concannon on 01273 424 904 or email riskcontrol@qcaregroup.co.uk

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