16th May 2016

Road safety – keeping you and your passengers safe

You don’t need us to tell you that road safety should always be of fundamental importance to any motorist. As a taxi or minibus driver for hire, the service you provide to passengers involves a great deal of trust on their part – it’s up to you to get them to their destination as smoothly and safely as possible.

We’ve all seen some terrible drivers on the road while we’re out and about, and we’ve also thought of how “they’ll probably cause an accident one day”. Unfortunately, a large part of being safe on the road involves having to deal with other people’s driving, trying to work out who’s attempting to do what and when, in order to stay out of each other’s way.

By remaining alert and consistently aware of your surroundings, generally any trouble can be avoided. However, there are a couple of other things you can keep in mind that would be beneficial to you and your passengers in case of any unexpected accidents.

Common incidents on the road

Figures from 2014/15 have shown that incidents on the UK’s roads today are lower than we’ve seen in previous years. However, with almost 200,000 road traffic accidents resulting in injuries recorded in 2014, road safety is still a massive concern for motorists and pedestrians alike.

Recklessness and unawareness are the biggest culprits for compromising road safety, with speeding, failure to look properly and errors in judgement often leading to serious and even fatal accidents. On top of this, drink and drug driving are still major issues among British drivers, despite increasing crackdowns on this criminal behaviour. Make sure you’re driving within legal requirements and staying alert free from distractions – yes, that means keep the phone away too!

In any case of a serious road incident, any injuries that may occur could be made even worse by the failure to wear a seatbelt. You should always make sure you’re buckled in before setting off and – while it’s completely up to passengers whether or not they wear theirs – you might want to encourage them to do so too. Not only will this protect them, but also others in the vehicle, including yourself.

First aid training courses

Even if you do everything right in terms of road safety, any number of unexpected situations can still arise when you’re on the job. Other motorists may not be as careful or attentive, so you could still get caught up in accidents that aren’t your fault. You may even come across a situation completely unrelated to road safety, such as your passenger requiring medical assistance or late-night weekend drinkers in an unfit state.

While you’re not necessarily obliged to have any formal First Aid training, it’s definitely strongly advisable to take a course. Many First Aid courses are as short as one or two days, and will equip you with some basic knowledge. This can include helping them to recover from a temporary dizzy spell or keeping them in the recovery position until paramedics arrive, depending on the severity of the situation.

First Aid courses also give you the skills to assess and monitor a situation as well as providing early assistance. You can find out about general or driver-specific First Aid courses close to you by checking the St John Ambulance website for further information and to book a place on one. Alongside adding to your personal skills, keeping an emergency First Aid kit in your cab is also an essential, so that you can deal with any minor injuries fairly easily.

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