Traffic accidents do not occur just on roadways. They can occur wherever vehicles and pedestrians share the same space. Even on private property, you can have accidents between cars, trucks, and motorbikes. You can have accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians. As the owner of business property, you face the risk of traffic accidents every day. Why not adopt a few simple strategies to reduce that risk?
A range of traffic controls and speed bumps strategically located throughout your property is a good starting point. Any physical equipment you can use to control traffic patterns and speed will go a long way toward preventing accidents. You should consider speed bumps and signage at a bare minimum.
Getting a Driver's Attention
The point of installing speed bumps is to get a driver's attention as he or she travels through your car park or along your property's access road. Speed bumps accomplish the same thing potholes accomplish. The idea being that the driver sees the speed bump coming up and slows down appropriately.
Signage works by giving drivers certain instructions. Temporary stop signs can bring drivers to a halt during periods of high pedestrian activity. Other signs can direct drivers where to go or warn them of merging traffic. Signs perform the important function of telling drivers what to do so they do not have to make snap decisions.
Above and beyond speed bumps and signage, there are other pieces of equipment you can install on your property. These include things like bollards, curbing, posts, traffic spikes, and one-way traffic plates. Each device has its own intended purpose to either reroute traffic flow or stop it altogether.
Three Reasons to Prevent Traffic Accidents
All of this might seem like an academic exercise to you. If so, stop and think about what a serious accident would mean. Think about how you would deal with the aftermath of a serious injury or death occurring on your premises. It is not a pretty picture.
There are three primary reasons commercial property owners should implement strategies to prevent traffic accidents on their premises. These are:
1. Premises Liability
Commercial property owners have legal obligations to protect guests against harm under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and 1984 as well as the Employer's Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969. In the simplest possible terms, if a guest or employee is injured on your property because you did not take reasonable steps to prevent harm, you and your company could be held liable.
Premises liability in the UK is not limited to slip-and-fall accidents. It covers just about any kind of accident that might occur on your property, including traffic accidents. It is just not worth the risk to ignore proper traffic control procedures, especially since controlling traffic can be accomplished with minimal expense and labour.
2. Your Company's Reputation
Just about everything a guest or employee experiences while on your property contributes to that person's opinion of your company. Impressions of traffic are no exception. If a guest finds the traffic on your property unbearable, the chances are that this individual will seek the services you provide elsewhere.
Your company's reputation could suffer from poor traffic control even if no accidents are ever recorded on your property. Heaven forbid what might happen if an accident actually does occur. Imagine the fallout of a fatal accident – especially if it were determined to have been preventable.
The reality is that we live in highly sensitive times. People no longer view common accidents the way they did 20 years ago. All it takes is poorly managed traffic and a single accident to cause big headaches.
3. The Human Cost
Most important of all is the human cost of traffic accidents. That cost is more important than your company's reputation or any liability you might be exposed to. Even what is considered a minor accident could lead to substantial medical costs, loss of time at work, and more.
The human cost goes up when serious injuries are involved. Now you are talking about a higher financial bill due to injuries requiring extensive medical care and more lost time. If injuries are severe enough, an accident victim might be looking at a lifetime disability.
Unfortunately, the unthinkable is also possible. There could be an accident on your property that results in a person's death. Maybe it's a pedestrian struck by a car while crossing the car park. Perhaps it's a car driver who is killed in a collision with an HGV. Regardless, the human cost of a fatal accident has no monetary value.
Cars, trucks, and motorbikes are a normal part of modern life. The more vehicles on the road, the greater the risk for property owners. Do yourself and your company a favour by taking reasonable steps to prevent traffic accidents on your premises. You, your guests, and your employees will all be better off for it.