More than 1,300 people die on Britain’s roads every year. As many as 320 of those deaths are alcohol-related – with the total annual estimated number of alcohol-related road injuries being over 7,500.
This year, both campaigns fall on the same week – 15th-21st November. With that in mind, we thought we’d look at the messages driving each campaign and what fleets can do to get involved and show their support.
Road Safety Week is a national campaign created by UK-based road safety charity Brake, which encourages organisations such as companies, schools, colleges and more to host an event discussing the importance of road safety.
The Road Safety Week and Brake websites both host a number of tools and resources to help make these events possible. You can use these resources to run an event yourself, or in a more subtle fashion, use them as the basis for driver training and company meetings around issues including speed awareness, driver distractions, seatbelt usage and more besides.
Road safety tips
While road safety is a vast subject that could extend to several posts here on the SG Fleet blog, it’s notable that Brake calls out six key areas drivers can focus on to improve their levels of road safety. They are:
For more details on how drivers can use roads safely, check out Brake’s page on Drivers and Safe Road Use.
Global Fleet Champions
Brake also runs a campaign designed to help fleet businesses manage work-related road risks. It’s called Global Fleet Champions, and unlike Road Safety Week, it runs all year round. To find out how you can join the network of fleet champions, visit this page on the Brake website.
Alcohol Awareness Week is a campaign created by Alcohol Change UK to get the UK thinking about the impacts of immoderate drinking. Over 4,000 public health teams, GP surgeries, places of work, pharmacies, hospitals, charities and community groups will be taking part in this year’s event. Will you be joining them?
The Alcohol Awareness Week website includes a link to this guide on running an alcohol awareness campaign in your community. It also contains a ‘get involved’ menu option that lists ways to fundraise for Alcohol Change UK, become a campaigner or community champion, or share your story to raise awareness for the harm alcohol can cause. During Alcohol Awareness Week, one idea could be to open a discussion in your driver meetings about alcohol consumption, and signpost these resources as a way for your team to find out more or get involved themselves.
This, of course, is the key question behind Alcohol Awareness Week. The answer is that even a tiny amount of alcohol affects how the brain works. It can make it harder for drivers to think, make them slower to react, lower their coordination and negatively impact their mood and overall behaviour.
In the UK, excluding Scotland, you’re over the limit if you measure over
In Scotland, those limits are even tighter, coming in at:
There is no hard and fast rule about how much drink that equates to. Your height, weight, gender and metabolism all play a part in how much alcohol is likely to affect you, and how long after drinking you will be under the limit.
However, a good rule of thumb* is that you are likely to be over the limit if you drink just two pints of average strength lager, or two small glasses of wine, and should wait at least eight hours after drinking that relatively small amount. The more you drink, the longer you should wait before driving.
*Please note that this is NOT official advice and you should use a breathalyser if unsure.
Drinking alcohol is a normal part of adult life that, when used with restraint, can help people to relax and unwind after a long day at work. However, when that work involves getting behind the wheel for most of a workday, even a few drinks afterwards could prove problematic the next morning.
While raising awareness at driver meetings is always a great first step, for fleet businesses, the best immediate way to safeguard against any issues is to purchase a company breathalyser.
We would suggest making it a company policy that drivers who drank alcohol the night before should use the breathalyser before setting off in their vehicle. Thankfully, you can implement this policy without being heavy-handed. Simply let your team know where the breathalyser is, and rely on their conscience and professionalism to have them make use of it as and when needed.
At SG Fleet, we work with fleet businesses of all sizes to manage their operations and help them run in a more efficient and safer manner. That includes offering our extensive experience to help with things like driver training, and implementing safety policies.
For more on how we can help, call us on 0344 854 5100 or email CSalmon@sgfleet.com.