The Importance of Fleet Safety Kits
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Not all fleets have driver safety kits for their fleet drivers. Inexpensive and easy to assemble, fleet managers, as well as drivers, will experience the benefits of having these tools on-hand in company vehicles.
Unexpected emergencies for the fleet driver or for other drivers near them can arise at any given moment, and, with a fully stocked driver safety kit, the fleet driver will be prepared for the situation.
The fundamental tools in a typical driver safety kit includes usable spare tires, tools (e.g., screwdriver, wrench, and pliers), road flares, reflective triangles, and first aid supplies. Just as important, fleet drivers should have their cell-phones handy and a charger that can be plugged into the auxiliary power outlet.
Also, fleet managers need to make sure that their drivers know the different items in the kit, their importance, and how to use them.
“Fleet managers need to determine which items are best suited for the needs of their fleet drivers. It is also suggested that consideration be given based on geographical concerns (e.g. urban or rural),” said Art Liggio, president of Driving Dynamics. “The small investment in time to understand how to use these items can pay dividends and keep fleet drivers safe.”
According to Liggio, fleet drivers should receive recurring training on how to use the different items in the safety kit. And, as a standard practice, driver safety kits should be checked twice a year. But, fleet managers should aim for inspecting those kits four times a year in conjunction with the changes in seasons, especially in the Northeast and Midwest.
Apart from the basic items included in driver safety kits, there are some lesser-known items that fleet managers need or should consider including.
One of the most overlooked is the high-visibility, reflective safety vest.
“High-visibility vests are inexpensive, but not typically found in driver safety kits,” Liggio said. “As a precautionary measure fleet drivers should wear these vests, so they can be seen.”
For mixed fleets that include electric vehicles, it is important for the fleet driver to have extra fuses on-hand and to know where they are in the vehicle and how to properly install them.
The fire extinguisher included in electric vehicles should be Class C grade or higher. Class C fire extinguishers take care of electrical fires, flammable gases, such as propane, whereas a Class B fire extinguisher helps extinguish flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, and etc.
For the winter, depending on the location, fleet driver safety kits should also include items such as an ice scraper, a folding shovel, cat litter or sand, and chemical heat packs. Cat litter is an inexpensive resource drivers can use to improve tire traction as they navigate icy roads.
“Breakdowns and inclement weather conditions do happen and they don’t always occur in well-traveled, high visibility locations with good cell-phone reception and a tow truck close at hand,” Liggio said. “A safety kit can ease the pain and reduce the hassle of such breakdowns.”