Simon Elstow, head of driver training at IAM Drive & Survive, explains how a robust Driver Risk Management (DRM) policy protects your company and saves you money.
How well do you know everyone in your company that drives on business? After all, employees who drive spend many hours behind the wheel on increasingly crowded and busy roads. The pressures of modern working life – emails, mobile phones, meeting deadlines - can adversely affect an employee’s ability to concentrate when driving. So, it’s no surprise that all of these factors can increase the risk of a collision.
Too often, fleets suffer significant losses because no assessment or training of drivers has taken place. Losses arise through damaged products, increased insurance premiums, warranty claims and excessive fuel costs.
With one in three of all on-road accidents involving someone driving for work, it’s imperative that employers have a DRM strategy in place. Unfortunately this is often overlooked, even though health and safety, duty of care and legislation such as corporate manslaughter applies as much to high-mileage drivers and their employers as it does to site-based staff.
A few employers still believe that they are covered as long as their drivers hold a current driving licence and their vehicles have insurance and MOT. This is simply untrue. It is a blinkered way of looking at road safety and it doesn’t comply with the law.
Health and safety law applies to driving for work just as it does all work activities, so the risks must be managed.
DRM saves money for employers because the costs associated with road accidents are always higher than the costs of implementing a programme of assessment and training. The impact of a road accident for smaller businesses and the self-employed can be much greater, so whatever the size of your business, it makes financial sense to invest in a DRM strategy.
Fortunately, many businesses now see the link between improving driving skills for their employees and fewer crashes, lower insurance costs and reduced fuel consumption.
Today’s businesses are also socially responsible and understand that caring for their employees is extremely important.
Skilled and trained drivers have a better attitude and look after their vehicles more carefully – often using less fuel and causing less wear and tear to the engine, tyres and brakes. This makes their residual value greater when they are sold on at the end of the lease term.
A significant amount of fuel can be saved every year by using fuel-saving techniques. In fact IAM Drive & Survive’s award-winning green driving course (Ecolution) can reduce fuel consumption by up to 25 per cent.
But every company is unique and a DRM strategy should be tailored to suit each company. Whether running a fleet of vans or employees are using their own private vehicles (grey fleet), all businesses should seek expert advice to help find the best and most cost-effective DRM programme for them.
Find out more for free!
IAM Drive & Survive holds FREE DRM seminars around the UK. These will help your organisation to understand its obligations and how to implement and maintain the necessary standards to ensure driver compliance.
Don’t get caught out – book your place(s) today.