A survey was taken by fleet vehicle safety specialists CameraMatics – the survey was researching into how consistently they carry out checks on vehicles. Walkaround checks are commonly part of the everyday routine for fleet operators and HGV drivers alike – ensuring their own safety and that of others while out on the road.
The survey, which asked over 500 UK and Ireland operating drivers how often they do these checks – found that just over 40% of those who took part in the anonymous survey rarely check their vehicle on a daily basis. While it is a commitment that HGV operators should abide by, as part of the requirements to maintain standards set by their license – it was found that less and less drivers fulfilled this responsibility.
A big question is who within a transport firm should be held accountable regarding regular checks of their vehicles, it could be the driver who is using the vehicle – or the fleet manager who decides when checks take place: especially for vehicles that are often rotated between various drivers.
Just 29.4% of drivers told CameraMatics they always complete checks, with 15.5% saying they usually do them. The pre-journey routine of checking a vehicle for any damage or issues is an expected duty for those in charge of a fleet and their drivers to manage on a regular basis to meet the standards of which the vehicle should be to stay on the road.
The frequency at which they are missed can lead to many accidents that take place on the road involving trucks. The DVSA recently reported that around 85% of faults in lorries can be found with a simple walkaround check of the vehicle. Which could help to reduce the amount of accidents caused on the road by HGVs
The legal implications for drivers could include an unlimited fine and even prison sentences for using a HGV considered to be in a dangerous condition. With checks being one of the few ways to recognise such faults in these vehicles. In whichever circumstance, both the drivers and operator can be found as responsible in the eyes of the law.
In another section of the survey, CameraMatics found over 50% of the drivers will still using pen and paper to complete their regular checks.
Speaking on the matter, was CameraMatics Founder and Director, Simon Murray, who said: “It’s concerning to hear that over 50% of drivers say they do not carry out regular walkaround checks. Our experience tells us that using an app like CameraMatics Go for walkaround checks significantly improves safety and compliance.
He elaborated: “It allows fleets to ditch unreliable and inefficient pen and paper systems. As well as giving managers an instant notification of check completion and results there’s also a time and location-stamped record of every check. This can be crucial in the event of enforcement or insurance issues.”