Avoiding risky roads for better OHS

A useful part of fleet management is planning the best roads to use. The shortest route is not always the quickest, you may find - particularly if other road users are clogging up your most convenient course.

Fleet route optimisation is one of the great benefits of fleet management software, with in-depth reports unlocking the ability to speed up businesses by reducing the amount of time drivers spend on the road.

However, this also raises other considerations for a fleet manager, such as which roads are safer and which will put your drivers at a greater risk.

This corresponds to recent research published by the Royal Automobile Association (RAA), which delved into the most dangerous roads in Western Australia.

By taking nominations from members, the RAA's 2014 Risky Roads campaign found that a startling number of these dangerous hotspots were in and around the Perth area, particularly in the Swan area.

The top 5 risky roads in Western Australia are:

  1. Gnangara Road, Lexia in Swan
  2. Bussell Highway, Capel
  3. Beechboro Road North, Cullacabardee, also in Swan
  4. Toodyay Road, Red Hill to Toodyay
  5. Great Eastern Highway, Coolgardie to Southern Cross

Several of the main problems faced on these roads included high amounts of traffic, poor road surfaces, narrow lanes and a lack of opportunities to overtake.

RAC General Manager of Corporate Affairs Will Golsby explained that the 5,000 nominations shows a need for road improvements.

"The 2014 Risky Roads results have highlighted the urgent need for the State Government's MidYear Review to deliver an increase in road funding across metropolitan roads," he began. This funding is urgent because tragically the road fatality toll is already 20 deaths more than this time last year."

However, Mr Golsby suggests that with recent cuts to funding, this problem may be difficult to solve in the immediate future.

"WA's metropolitan road network is also under pressure with a cap being placed on the level of road funding provided to local government, and more recently a 15 per cent per year reduction in funding from the road maintenance budget over the next three years," he continued.

"This is on top of the huge backlog in road maintenance which was identified in 2009 by the Auditor General, and estimated to be $800 million."

Avoiding risky roads

Choosing the right route is no easy task, and it can take constant vigilance for a fleet manager to protect their drivers in the greatest possible way. Ultimately, though, it will be in the best interest of an occupational health and safety (OHS) policy to find alternatives when possible.

Limiting the use of risky roads is possible through route optimisation, available through your fleet management software.

To learn how easy it is to make this change and improve OHS, get in touch with Smartfleet and book a free demo.