Fleet News

Accident bill spurs authority into action

MULTI-MILLION pound road traffic accident costs and the escalating number of road death and injuries in the region led Cambridgeshire County Council to act to reduce the number of corporate car collisions. In 1997 there were 59 fatalities and 636 serious injuries, and the total cost of dealing with these was £150million. The council decided to act following research by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents which estimated that between 20 and 25% of fatalities on the roads involved drivers classed as 'at work'.

In autumn last year, 4,000 questionnaires were sent to every business with 11 or more employees and a random sample to those with less than 10. A total of 792 (20%) responded. Of the 75 businesses who could identify the cost of road traffic accidents in financial terms, an average cost of £501 per RTA was shown. The total cost to all of them was £1,029,000.

RoSPA research shows that the true cost of an accident should be multiplied by eight to take into account the indirect costs of temporary staff, lost production and sales and replacement vehicles. Based on that, the total cost was £16million for the businesses which responded. The survey also showed that, of the businesses whose employees had been involved in RTAs, 11% lost production or sales, 12% faced increased vehicle insurance costs, 6% had to employ temporary staff and 18% hired replacement vehicles.

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