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Tranzaura Blog

Tips and information regarding technology in the transport industry

Trucks in the City 2017

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Yesterday, 16th January, saw the Fleet Transport ‘Trucks in the City’ seminar take place in the Citywest Hotel, Dublin. Supported by both the Road Safety Authority and the Health & Safety Authority, the seminar covered the issue of road safety surrounding trucks and vulnerable road users with presentations from experts in the field. Read our take on the seminar here.

 

National Be Safe Be Seen Day

21st December 2016

 Today, the shortest and darkest day of the year is National Be Safe Be Seen Day. Launched by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and ESB Networks, “National Be Safe Be Seen Day” aims to remind all road-users how important it is to be seen by wearing high visibility material when out walking, cycling or motorcycling, and to use dipped headlights when driving to stay safe on our roads.

As of today, 182 people have died on Irish roads, which is a figure 32 higher than this time last year. With fewer hours of daylight, it is even more important for people to be visible when out on the roads. Wearing high visibility material such as a vest or Sam Brown belt is the simplest way to make sure you can be seen by other road-users when you are out walking, cycling or motorcycling. It has now become habit for many people to reach for their hi-vis gear before they walk out the door and we would encourage all road-users to follow their example. In particular, parents should encourage their children to wear hi-vis gear when walking or cycling to school to help ensure they can be clearly seen by other road-users.

Ms Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said: “Worryingly, the number of fatalities on our roads are continuing to increase. We need to take responsibility for our behaviour when on the roads if we want to reverse the current trend in road fatalities. Small changes to our behaviour, such as simply wearing a high visibility vest or using your day-time running lights, can have a significant, live saving impact. So, I would urge people to get involved in ‘National Be Safe Be Seen Day’ and play your part if making our roads safer.”

Earlier this year, the RSA and ESB Networks distributed free high visibility vests to every child starting school. Since this campaign began 700,000 high visibility vests have been provided to schoolchildren around the country.

The RSA and ESB Networks are asking people around the country to support ‘National Be Safe, Be Seen Day’ by tweeting photos of themselves wearing their high visibility vest or jacket on their way to work, college or school to encourage others to follow their example. Photos should be tweeted to the RSA – @RSAIreland – or to ESB Networks – @ESBNetworks.

For more information on how you can stay safe and be seen on our roads while walking, cycling or driving during “National Be Safe Be Seen Day” and every other day, click here.

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Road Safety Week – Prepping Your Vehicle for Cold Weather

You wouldn’t step foot outside your house these days without preparing adequately for the cold weather that’s upon us and that courtesy should be extended to your vehicle.

Cold weather negatively affects your vehicle more than you might realise and for this reason we’ve put together a number of points to keep in mind to ensure you “Stay Safe, Stay Smart and Stay Legal”.

  1. Prepare your car for winter driving according to the worst weather you can expect in your area. Winter weather will find the overlooked weakness if your preparation is incomplete.
  1. Check your anti-freeze. Coolant systems that are not in the right proportion will lead to overheating due to freezing. Have the car’s coolant system flushed before the first freeze. You also need to check the system for leaks and install fresh coolant.
  1. Confirm that your heater system works correctly. This means that the core doesn’t leak, the blower works and the window defroster is operating.
  1. Inspect the windshield wipers and replace them if they are worn or have become hardened. Also change the windshield wiper fluid to one that has antifreeze added to it.
  1. Examine the car’s electrical system, particularly the battery and charging arrangement. The cold weather puts unusual demands on the charging system.
  1. Ensure traction so you know you are safe when driving on icy roads. Check your vehicle’s tire treads. Replace any tires that do not have sufficient tread.
  1. Avoid driving in weather conditions such as a blizzard, extreme cold and high winds or in rural areas of your community.Know where you are. Before you leave your starting point, advise a family member, friend or neighbour of your destination and judge the approximate duration of the trip. If possible, contact those persons if you will be delayed. Notify them when you reach your destination.
  1. If you become stranded in your car, test your mobile phone.If it has reception, call an emergency number first, then call the persons that are aware of your route and your travel time schedule. Test the mobile phone periodically and do not try to walk for help.
  1. Carry an emergency kit with you at all times. This might seem a bit extreme – but if you ever find yourself stranded you’ll be glad of it. We recommend:
  • A mobile phone and charger/spare battery
  • A hazard warning triangle
  • Hi-visibility vest
  • A first aid kit
  • De-icer and a scraper
  • A shovel
  • A tow rope
  • Wellington boots
  • A torch
  • Warm clothes
  • Food and drink
  1. Have your brakes checked periodically. This is for safety and to prevent costly repairs that can be caused by neglect.
  1. Clean the underside of your car. The salt used to melt snow and ice on the roads can damage the bodywork and paint on your car. Ensure you keep your car clean to prevent lasting damage.

Contact a member of our team to find out how our safety and compliance software can help ensure you “Stay Safe, Stay Smart and Stay Legal during Road Safety Week 2016.

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Road Safety Week – Icy Roads

With temperatures dropping day by day over the last number of weeks, icy roads are becoming more and more prevalent across the country. Icy roads pose a multitude of problems for all road users, the most well-known of these being that they increase your stopping distance by a factor of 10, among many others.

To help you better manage these difficult road conditions we’ve put together a number of safety tips to keep in mind over the winter.

 

  1. Reduce your speed. Slowing down is the single most important thing to do when driving on icy roads. High speed makes it both easy to lose control and difficult to stop. You should never be driving faster than 45mph in any vehicle when roads are icy.

 

  1. Don’t drive on icy roads. The best way to avoid an accident on an icy road is to simply stay off the roads until the threat passes.

 

  1. Wear your seat-belt. It should go without saying that you should wear your seat belt at all times. During the winter it’s even more critical that you do so. An alarming number of icy road fatalities occur with minor accidents where vehicle occupants were not wearing seat belts.

 

  1. Pay attention to the weather. Make the weather forecast part of your daily routine during the winter. Awareness of conditions will help you be more prepared to deal with them.

 

  1. Go easy on your brakes. Brake application is a common trigger of slides that result in a loss of vehicle control. ABS (anti-lock brakes) do not work well on ice and will often lock up your wheels regardless. Sliding wheels are uncontrollable, that is, steering input will not change the vehicle’s direction if the wheels are sliding.

 

  1. Avoid hills or other dangerous roads during icy conditions. If you attempt to tackle a steep enough incline, there is little you can do to stop gravity from taking its toll so plan your route accordingly.

 

  1. Check & use your lights. Use your dipped headlights so that others will see you. Make sure your headlights and taillights are all in working order, replace broken bulbs. Make sure lights are clear of ice/snow.

 

  1. Watch out for “black ice.” If the road looks polished or glossy it could be “black ice”, one of the most treacherous hazards as black ice is difficult to see! It is nearly transparent ice that often looks like a harmless puddle or is overlooked entirely. Watch out for black ice, especially in sheltered/shaded areas on roads, under trees and adjacent to high walls.

 

  1. Be Prepared! In prolonged icy driving conditions it is advisable to carry the following in the boot of the car:
    High visibility vest
    b. Tow rope
    c. Spare bulbs
    d. Spare fuel
    e. A shovel
    f. Appropriate footwear in case you have to leave your vehicle i.e. boots
    g. A hazard warning triangle
    h. Spare wheel (with tire at correct pressure and tread)
    i. De-icing equipment (Both for glass and door locks)
    j. First aid kit (in good order)
    k. A fire extinguisher (fully operative)
    l. A working torch
    m. A car blanket, additional clothing & some food and water

 

Contact a member of our team to find out how our safety and compliance software can help ensure you “Stay Safe, Stay Smart and Stay Legal during Road Safety Week 2016.

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Road Safety Week: Salted Roads

Temperatures have been dropping day by day and Christmas songs are plaguing every radio station. If the ice on your windscreen this morning didn’t tip you off, winter is well and truly here. With that comes a whole host of issues you need to pay particular attention to when behind the wheel.

Icy roads are the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about obvious road hazards during cold weather, but should not be the only thing you need to be wary of. I’m here to talk to you today about a by-product of icy roads, salted roads.

Salt is ideally spread before the road becomes icy or snow starts to fall. However, salt is not normally spread during rain as the salt will simply wash away. It can often take spreaders 2 hours to salt a route and will therefore be 2 hours before some roads are treated. Both of these will need to be taken into consideration when planning your journey.

When snow is forecast, salt is spread before the event. With weather forecasts being roughly 85% accurate this can mean that there are 10 days in a winter when snow or frost is not forecast but actually occurs. If snow starts to fall there is little that can be done until it is deep enough to plough. The actions of ploughing, spreading of salt and vehicles running on the road can help clear the roads.

Contrary to popular belief salt does not act immediately when it is spread on existing ice or snow. The ice or snow surrounding each salt granule has to be turned into a saline solution. The action of traffic is essential by moving the salt granules around and eventually melting all the ice or snow. On more lightly trafficked roads the surface will remain icy for some time after salting.

So, what does all of this mean for you? Despite everyone’s best efforts, there is no guarantee that roads will always be completely free of snow and ice. In adverse weather, difficult and dangerous driving conditions should be anticipated and everybody has to play their part in keeping the roads safe for all road users.

Below are some safe driving tips we’ve put together to help you manage driving on salted roads.

  • Allow sufficient time for the journey, taking into account the weather conditions and consider alternative routes, keeping in mind that primary roads will be the first ones salted following a freeze.
  • In wet and freezing conditions the grip between your tyres and the road is severely reduced. Make sure your tyres have plenty of tread depth, are in good condition and are inflated to the correct pressure.
  • Ensure your windscreen and all windows are clear and unobstructed and that windscreen wipers and washers are working effectively as slush, a by-product of salting roads, can quickly block your view of the road.
  • Treat braking on salted roads as you would braking on icy roads, as the salt takes time to melt the ice, and even when it does it will leave residual ice on the roads which can increase braking distance.
  • Avoid harsh braking and acceleration as well as travelling in the highest gear possible to maintain the most control over your vehicle
  • While road salting helps people travel safely, it has its drawbacks. It can cause major body and undercarriage damage to your vehicles unless you take extra care and precaution. Keeping your vehicle as clean as possible during the winter will go a long way to cut down on the damage done by salt.

Take care when driving in all conditions and follow our twitter page @TranzauraLtd for more road safety tips.

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Distracted Driving

Irish Road Safety Week is taking place from Monday 3rd to Sunday 9th October with road safety activities planned nationwide. With this in mind, it’s time to talk about one of the biggest contributory factors in over 1,400 fatal and injury collisions annually, distracted driving.

A distraction can be one that’s defined as physical, cognitive or visual. Distracted driving is thought to play a role in 20-30% of all road collisions and can include a range of in-vehicle distractions including eating, drinking and reaching for objects, but mobile phone use is thought to be a particularly significant distracting factor.

In a recent poll, half of drivers surveyed (54%) admitted to using the mobile phone in some way while driving, be it hands-free, hand-held or texting which is particularly worrying as a number of studies show that using a mobile phone while driving can increase the risk of being involved in an accident by up to four times. Hands-free systems (an earpiece, dashboard system or speakerphone), while preferable to the alternative, still reduce cognitive awareness as the brain toggles between tasks but can’t do two things at the same time. Hands-free is not risk free.

Drivers caught using handheld mobile phones in Britain are to face much tougher penalties under new rules expected to come in next year, with drivers facing 6 points and a £200 fine. In Ireland, drivers can expect 3 penalty points and a €60 fine, both of which can be increased if convicted in court. While these penalties are justifiable the number one reason phones shouldn’t be used in vehicles is to keep the roads and its users safe.

Below are a number of ways in which you can reduce the different distractions keeping you from focusing fully on the task at hand.

  1. Fully focus on driving. Do not let anything divert your attention, actively scan the road, use your mirrors and watch out for pedestrians and cyclists

 

  1. Store loose gear, possessions and other distractions that could roll around in the vehicle, so you do not feel tempted to reach for them on the floor or the seat.

 

  1. Make adjustments before you begin your journey. Address vehicle systems like your GPS, seats, mirrors, climate controls and sound systems before hitting the road. Decide on your route and check traffic conditions ahead of time.

 

  1. Put aside your electronic distractions. Don’t use cell phones while driving – handheld or hands-free – except in absolute emergencies. Never use text messaging, email functions, video games or the internet with a wireless device, including those built into the vehicle, while driving.

 

  1. If another activity demands your attention, instead of trying to attempt it while driving, pull off the road and stop your vehicle in a safe place. To avoid temptation, power down or stow devices before heading out. Drivers should use caution while using voice-activated systems, even at seemingly safe moments when there is a lull in traffic or the car is stopped at an intersection, because potentially dangerous distractions can last longer than most drivers expect.

 

  1. As a general rule, if you cannot devote your full attention to driving because of some other activity, it’s a distraction. Take care of it before or after your trip, not while behind the wheel.

Already this year, 130 people have died on Irish roads; 18 more than for the same period last year. Project EDWARD (European Day Without A Road Death) was launched by the European Traffic Police Network this year to improve safety on our roads, not just on the chosen day of 21st September, but every day!

Minimising the distractions you encounter is the simplest and easiest way to ensure a safe journey for you and other road users. Click below to see how the Tranzaura range of solutions can aid your business to Stay Safe, Stay Smart and Stay Legal.

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