Road safety charity Brake has published a new report for fleet managers on maintaining safe vehicles. In 2011, vehicle defects contributed to 2,125 crashes in Great Britain, with 52 leading to deaths. Brake has said that fleet managers must make sure vehicles are safe and road worthy, with mechanics properly trained. Laura Woods, research and information officer at Brake, said: "Fleet managers have a duty to ensure their vehicles are safe, well-maintained and roadworthy, and that the mechanics working on their vehicles are fully qualified and their skills are kept up to date. This report has highlighted worrying gaps in some fleets' management of vehicle risks. 'Brake urges fleet managers to make use of the advice in this report, and other resources available through the Fleet Safety Forum, to ensure they are not putting their drivers and other road users at risk by allowing dangerous vehicles on the roads." Brake's research found 52 per cent of firms using outsourced maintenance ensured mechanics' qualifications were check and verified, with less than a quarter (23 per cent) providing regular training. Brake found that pre-drive checks are imperative for ensuring road safety, particularly for larger vehicles like trucks and buses; all fleets containing larger vehicles checked them at least daily, but only 18 per cent of those with smaller vehicles provided any checks at all. Brake's report is free for Fleet Safety Forum subscribers, or £5 by non-subscribers. Elsewhere, Brake encouraged road users to reduce the risk in their fleet operations via their one-day conference last week, in conjunction with accident management provider, FMG. Speakers from a range of businesses, including Allied Bakeries, Shell and Zurich shared knowledge of risk management to help improve road safety. Roz Cumming, professional engagement manager at Brake, said: 'Businesses have a moral, legal, and financial obligation to ensure they're doing everything possible to mitigate risk from their vehicle use. "With advanced technology, such as data capture telemetry devices, and advanced software to analyse that data, businesses are in a better position than ever to reduce road risk. "The event was well-attended and covered some very important issues, which will help some of Britain's foremost fleets cut their incident rates and further promote the road safety cause.î