MA Fleet Driver Training

Useful information for drivers


Driving under the influence

Over 560 people are killed in drink-drive crashes each year. Never drive if there’s even a slim chance you are still under the influence of drink or drugs. Never drive on medicinal drugs if it says you shouldn’t on the packet and check with your GP or pharmacist if you’re not sure. Illegal drugs are unpredictable in how they affect you and can have lethal consequences. Can you afford to lose your licence or your job? Would you cope with the effect that this will have on your family?  

Driver fatigue

<Having an accident as a result of driver fatigue will result in a higher level of personal injury than any other type of accident. This is because a crash caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel typically involves vehicles running off the road or into the back of another vehicle. They tend to be relatively high-speed crashes, because drivers were not braking before the point of impact.

However, you might not always realise just how tired you are, so it is important that you are aware of the warning signs.

Research shows that normal sleep does not occur without warning. Warning signs include: increased difficulty in concentrating, yawning, heavy eyelids, eyes starting to ‘roll’, and neck muscles relax, making the head droop. If you experience these symptoms, you should find somewhere safe to rest as soon as possible, rather than trying to fight off tiredness. Winding down the window, listening to music and talking to a passenger do not help prevent sleep, although they may temporarily help you to stay alert until you find somewhere safe to stop.


§  If you have a journey in excess of 2 hours, plan it into your working day, rather than adding it to your day.

§  Try to avoid driving between midnight and 6am.

§  If you stop at service station, park as far from the facilities as possible. The walk will help to refresh you. Ensure that your rest period is more than 15 minutes.

§  If you drink caffeine, drink two cups of coffee or a high-caffeine drink, such as an energy drink.

§  If you take a snooze make it no longer than 15 minutes. Set the alarm on your phone. Place the phone close enough to hear it, but far enough away so you physically have to move to switch it off.

§  If you still feel tired, do not continue your journey.

Remember that safety is the most important thing to consider while driving – much more important than sticking to a schedule.

Keep a safe distance

Nearly half of motorway drivers are risking accidents by driving too close to the vehicle in front. A survey found that the M4 in Berkshire was the worst with more than 70% of drivers guilty of tailgating (Source: RAC). Keeping a safer distance between you and the vehicle in front increases visibility and allows you to adapt to changes in traffic flow more easily. The minimum safe distance between you and the vehicle in front should be at least 2 seconds. This needs to be increased in adverse weather conditions.



Vehicle Safety Checks

More than 600 people are killed or seriously injured in road crashes involving vehicle defects every year (Source: DfT). To ensure that your vehicle is always safe, you can’t rely on your annual MOT. It is essential that you carry out some simple regular checks yourself. It is a driver’s legal responsibility to ensure that the vehicle being driven is of a road worthy condition. Vehicles driven with defects can be issued with an immediate PG9 (Prohibition Notice), which means that the vehicle cannot be driven. The fine for defective tyres is 3 penalty points and up to a £1,000 fine.


Here are the basic checks which you need to make on a regular basis:





Pressure / Tread / Condition


Cleanliness, Condition, Corrosion, Illumination (Main and Dipped Parking) Reversing, Brake, Fog

Wiper Blades

Cuts, Tears, Operation


Clean & Functional

Any Loose Fittings

Bumper, Number Plate, Roof Rack and Towing Fixtures


Scratches, Cracks, Clean


Under the Bonnet


Fluid Leaks

Power Steering, Brake and Oil

Fluid Levels

Oil, Water, Screen Washers, Brakes and Power Steering


Inside the Vehicle


All loose items secured, and heavy items located safely

Condition, security and adjustment of seatbelts

Adjustments to all mirrors

Location and function of parking brake

Operation of all additional safety features (ABS, ESP, etc.)

The location of security alarms and/or steering lock