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Safety features of light vehicles and minibuses

Selecting the right vehicle for each task will ensure that the task is carried out effectively with minimal risk to the driver, occupants, load and other road users. 

It’s important to specify and then select vehicles that are suitable and safe for employees and the type of trips they are expected to undertake, and consider body style, ergonomics, equipment and visibility to ensure the selected vehicle is fit for its purpose. Given the countries and regions in which the organisation might be operating in, it will be necessary to also consider the terrain the vehicle will be used on, and local security conditions in relation to the United Nations Minimum Operational Security Standards (UN MOSS) or other organisation specific standards or requirements. Do also ensure that the vehicle and associated equipment comply with legal requirements.

Regardless of vehicle selected, the following minimum secondary safety features should be installed and securely fixed in your vehicles:

  • Seat belts for all vehicle occupants
  • Headrests
  • Air bags (at least for the driver)
  • Anti-lock brakes

Any vehicle with a non-segregated storage area should also be equipped with a cargo net, or equivalent, to separate the storage area from the passenger area. 

To aid the decision-making process in relation to vehicle safety features, a list of the most appropriate safety features adapted from the 1997 "Safety Features of Light Vehicle and Mini Buses” guide produced by Shell can be downloaded below. 

It is recommended that the organisation also considers the provision of additional safety equipment which can help a driver to better manage and deal with any hazards or emergencies.

These include:

  • Vehicle spare parts (e.g. bulbs, fuses, fan-belts, etc.) 
  • Spare wheel and tyre;
  • Tool kit;
  • Wheel changing kit;
  • Warning triangles;
  • Reflective jackets;
  • Torches;
  • First Aid kit;
  • Fire extinguisher.

When operating in remote areas or difficult terrain it may be appropriate to include a winch or other suitable tools that can be used to assist in the recovery of a vehicle. If a vehicle is fitted with a winch, it is required that the driver is fully trained in safe winch operation. 

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