Motor Vehicle Journey Planning

By  Vero Insurance

Planning a journey in a motor vehicle is about ensuring that journey schedules, distances and plans allow sufficient time for drivers to complete their journeys (including delivery stops, rest breaks and foreseeable weather and traffic conditions) at safe speeds and without needing to exceed speed limits. Realistic, safety-orientated journey planning helps avoid pressures to drive faster and fatigue in order to maximize efficiency and minimise exposure to hazards while promoting a safe driving culture.  

The planning of journeys plays a central part in influencing work related road risk and preventative measures in this area should be developed as part of an organisations’ road safety programme. When planning a journey, answers to the following questions should be considered as part of the risk assessment process:

  • Is the trip necessary?
  • If yes: what can be done to reduce the exposure to risk while driving?
  • Is it possible to use other means of transport?

Five things to consider when planning a journey

  • Review scheduling, rostering and load route planning arrangements and proactively address driver stress in the context of a health and safety plan. Establish schedules which allow drivers enough time to obey speed limits and avoid driving during peak hours. These should be flexible and adaptable to changes such as the weather.
  • Weather conditions and seasonality including: inclement weather; heavy traffic conditions and travelling in reduced visibility such as at dawn or dusk (when there is a higher potential for accidents involving animals), should be considered when choosing the route.
  • In dealing with clients, avoid concession making that might adversely affect road safety, such as commitments to deliveries or completion of work packages that set unrealistic time constraints.
  • Drivers should also be instructed that if they are delayed they should stop and phone ahead, and rearrange or cancel appointments if needed, rather than driving faster, and if they become tired they should stop and rest rather than continuing on.
  • Journeys should also be shared or consolidated as far as possible and public transport should be used wherever practical and appropriate (i.e. attending business meetings). The best way to reduce road risk is to reduce overall distance travelled. This is not only beneficial to safety, but will also save money while reducing emissions.

The best way to reduce road risk is to reduce overall distance travelled. This is not only beneficial to safety, but will also save money while reducing emissions.

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Disclaimer: This newsletter is for information purposes only and is not legal advice. 

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