Joe Fielder, sales and marketing director, BT Fleet
As the recent accident on the Sheppey Crossing involving 100 vehicles illustrates, driving on business presents significant risks, not just for the driver, but also for their employers.
The Corporate Manslaughter Act entered the statute books in 2010, making businesses liable for the use of the vehicles driven by their employees.
With winter approaching, it’s vital that businesses are reminded about the need not only to have an appropriate risk management policy in place, but also to proactively monitor the performance of work-related road safety on a regular basis.
Businesses that can identify poor driving behaviour such as harsh acceleration, braking or excessive speeding can then implement specific measures to help improve their employees’ driving style and reduce the associated risk.
Without such monitoring, however, companies potentially leave themselves at risk from prosecution in addition to the adverse financial impact from poor fuel consumption and higher fleet maintenance costs.
Technology is now widely available that can deliver a more comprehensive risk management solution to businesses.
For example, telematics monitors driver behaviour and can identify drivers at risk. Businesses can then take the necessary steps to improve the employee’s driving by tailoring training to their needs.
Reducing the liability of the business is, in my opinion, the most important aspect of using technology to mitigate driver risk.
However, implementing a comprehensive risk management solution can also deliver significant cost savings to the business.
Reducing the wear and tear on vehicles and improving fuel consumption through better driver behaviour and best practice all have a positive benefit on the bottom line.
In conclusion, it is the driver that introduces the biggest risk to our businesses and through them that we can create the greatest improvement opportunity.
Technology can play a significant part in identifying employees potentially at risk and through using the data and reporting tools available, businesses can better protect themselves and employees.