Written by Daniel Aday, CompOne Administrators Safety & Loss Prevention Specialist
Regardless of whether you have a whole fleet of company cars and trucks, or just a personal car that gets you to and from work, vehicles are a critical aspect of your everyday operations as a company or business. To ensure that there are no hiccups, unneeded mechanical repairs, or even accidents, it is imperative that you keep your vehicles in great condition, inspected often and stocked with emergency items.
Nothing seems worse at the time when you get into a vehicle and go to start it but nothing happens. It is frustrating, to say the least, whether it is the starter, the battery, alternator, bad gas, fuel pump, spark plugs or any other reason why a car won’t start. That is why it is critical to keep up on preventative maintenance for everything. Every vehicle has some means of service maintenance schedule that will involve changing fluids, inspecting tires and brakes and changing/replacing other parts, as well. Maintaining vehicle safety starts at purchasing the right vehicle. Pick out a vehicle that has great reviews, crash test ratings, reliability and quality. After that, you need to be able to find a trustworthy mechanic, if you are going to be having a third party work on your vehicles. Regularly take it in to get inspected and know that it is better to replace worn or aged parts before they break and you are left stuck on the side of the road or even in an accident.
Things to always keep in your vehicle may depend on where you are located, what hazards you are exposed to and your level of preparedness. What every vehicle should have is a light first aid kit, some snacks that don’t expire for at least a couple years (like energy bars, some trail mix, beef jerky), bottled water (kept out of direct sunlight), some means to charge a phone and a flashlight. Things that you may need depending on where you are located are a bigger first aid kit (if you live far away from any kind of hospital), blankets, roadside lights or flairs, ice scraper and a pair of gloves and safety glasses in case you need to do any light maintenance or change a tire. If you are unsure of what you might need, consider what could go wrong and plan accordingly. Additionally, if you are going to keep something in a vehicle, ensure that the driver is aware of what is there and how to use the items.
Arguably, the most important things on your vehicle are your tires. Your tires are the only means of contact between the road and your car. Regularly inspect your tires before driving, especially if driving for longer distances. What you want to look for is enough tread on the tire (there are usually indicators on the tire that show when the tire has worn down too much), any cracks on the sidewall that would indicate dry-rotting (more common on older tires), any objects that may have been lodged in the tire (such as nails, hooks, or road debris) that may cause it to pop and periodically check the air pressure. With many new cars, the air pressure of the tires can be checked on your dash or instrument cluster. Having good traction is a must, which is why your tires should always be based around the weather and the roads you drive on. Summer tires are superior to all season tires in the warmer months and winter tires are a world of difference in terms of improved traction in the winter. Never underestimate a good set of tires for your vehicles.
Keeping your vehicle in roadworthy condition is not only important for your personal safety, but also means that there is one less stressor you will have when worrying about the rest of work. Although not always predicable, vehicles that are well-maintained generally last longer and are safer on the roads.
If you are looking for assistance with safety policy, procedure creation or training for any other safety topic, feel free to reach out to us at 734-309-3456 or at firstname.lastname@example.org