Driving safely and efficiently
As a driver of a QFleet vehicle, you represent the Queensland Government. You must set a good example and drive safely and courteously with consideration for other road users.
We strongly support initiatives to promote safe and responsible vehicle use. Driving dangerously risks your own safety and the welfare of others.
The following are some areas where you may improve your performance and road safety:
- Speeding is a major contributing factor in serious and fatal crashes. Do not drive faster than the speed limit and reduce speed when road and weather conditions deteriorate and while driving in heavy traffic.
- Fatigue can cause serious vehicle crashes as drivers are often unaware of their condition. All drivers can benefit by learning about fatigue and its symptoms. Take 10 minute breaks every 2 hours during long trips and avoid driving for long distances after a full day of work.
- Seatbelts save lives. Drivers and passengers who do not wear a seatbelt contribute to approximately 28% of road crash fatalities every year. Wear a seat belt and ensure all of your passengers do too.
- Driver distraction and inattention are major causes of crashes. A safe driver must totally concentrate on driving. Resist the temptation to focus on technological and non-technological distractions both inside and outside your vehicle.
- Well maintained vehicles are safer and reduce whole-of-life operating costs. Complete the vehicle maintenance requirements as per the manufacturer vehicle handbook. Service the vehicle on time and have all repairs completed promptly.
- Unfamiliar vehicles may pose a safety risk to the driver. Learn about the features of an unfamiliar vehicle prior to driving rather than during the journey. Consult the manufacturer vehicle handbook or request new vehicle induction training.
- Parking and reversing crashes are the main reason for insurance claims. Improved driver training, a review of vehicle selection policies and a review of parking bay design and layout can help in reducing these crashes.
- Rear end crashes represent a significant portion of crashes involving QFleet vehicles. Be aware of the distance required to safely stop your vehicle and maintain a safe following distance. Increase your safety gap as speed increases or conditions deteriorate. Leave a following distance of at least 3 seconds between you and the vehicle in front.
Driving in adverse conditions
Your safety and that of others is most important and you should avoid driving in adverse conditions if at all possible.
Observe all safety signs e.g. ‘Do Not Cross Flooded Roadway’ and ‘Impassable in the Wet’. Constantly update your knowledge about the road and weather conditions by consulting with the locals and other travellers.
Rain, strong winds and fog make driving more difficult and dangerous, especially at night. The risks associated with driving in bad weather conditions can be minimised by:
- driving at a speed appropriate for the conditions
- ensuring that the windscreen is clean and the windscreen wipers are operational and in good condition
- using the air conditioner or demister to keep the windscreen clear
- ensuring that all vehicle and trailer lights are working
- using low beam headlights in fog and using rear fog lights (if fitted) only in heavy fog or very hazardous weather conditions
- using hazard lights when travelling very slowly
- driving at reduced speeds where there is water over the road to reduce the risk of aquaplaning
- avoiding sudden or harsh braking or steering actions
- not attempting to overtake other vehicles (unless on a double carriageway)
- postponing your trip on wet unsealed roads.
Talk to your agency’s Workplace Health and Safety area about any concerns or suggestions relating to driver safety.
Maintaining and maximising the energy efficiency of your vehicle can help to reduce fuel consumption and engine emissions. The following list contains some simple measures that can improve your vehicle’s performance and energy efficiencies.
- Reduce air resistance by keeping windows closed at higher speeds and removing roof racks when not needed.
- Use cruise control when on the open road.
- Drive smoothly by anticipating traffic conditions, accelerating conservatively and braking early and steadily.
- Remove any unnecessary weight (e.g. unnecessary items in the boot) and do not overload the vehicle.
- Check tyre pressure often. Driving with less than the recommended tyre pressure increases fuel consumption, tyre wear and emissions.
- Reduced driving means reduced fuel consumption. Plan your journey, combine trips and use public transport or walk whenever practical.
- Maintain your vehicle correctly by adhering to the manufacturer recommendations for maintenance, servicing and repairs.
- When the time comes to replace your vehicle, consider fuel-efficient vehicles that will allow you to perform your duties efficiently and safely.
These simple improvements will help to lower the cost of operating your vehicle and provide energy efficiencies.
Note: Currently most QFleet petrol-fuelled passenger and light commercial vehicles are E10 compatible. Only a small number of vehicles and other types, such as ‘quad bikes’ and motorcycles, are unsuitable for E10. Check with the manufacturer’s handbook or QFleet if in doubt.