Fleet News

Fleet News roundtable: Concentrate on driver education to reduce accidents

Safety was high on the agenda among fleets at the RAC-sponsored round table.

As vehicle safety has improved immeasurably over the last 15 years, the drivers are the targets for more tangible gains that also lead to cost savings.

Problems such as action against own-fault accidents, identifying the drivers that need most guidance, and whether spending money on extras to prevent accidents and reduce risk were discussed and specific fleet initiatives and examples of best practice were highlighted.

The meeting also went on to discuss environmental issues.

What strategy have you implemented that has had the most significant impact on safety?

Ian Leonard, group fleet services manager, Speedy Services: Shared vehicles are in the nature of our business. They don’t have an individual driver.

It has meant there has never been any consequence to damage or abuse of vehicles.

About 18 months ago we changed our insurer and at the same time introduced a post-accident review group. This sees five people – including myself and an executive director – meet every Monday to discuss the incidents.

It only takes an hour of our time and it seems to be the thing that’s had the biggest impact. A loss ratio of 100%-plus has been reduced to 18%.

It really has been a success story. We’ve got a 2% reduction in our insurance premium and might get a further 1%. We haven’t been outrageous in the action we have taken against drivers; any changes have been around training and observation.

The first accident a driver has is a freebie, but we’ll take £200 out of their wages for the second own-fault accident.

We try to push drivers through the training route; sometimes they just need to wake up and smell the coffee.

Damion Bennett, company car compliance advisor, GE Capital: Accident investigation forms part of our fleet. Interviews are with RAC Risk.

Sometimes you get the driver to open up a bit more with an independent body and reveal whether there are underlying issues such as time management or lack of overnight accommodation.

The mock court case at the Fleet News Congress and Road Safety Week has prompted us to move safety back up the agenda.

The technology now is phenomenal. As fleet managers we should take the time to look at what is available.

A few hundred pounds managing safety and managing distractions outside the car help protect the driver, the company and other road users.

Paul Tate, commodity manager, Siemens: I think reversing sensors are relied upon too much.

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