Fleet News

Fleet study creates accidents blueprint

A GOVERNMENT-backed investigation into accident rates among company vehicles has created a best practice blueprint for reporting crashes that could be rolled out throughout the country.

If adopted, employers would be required to create an in-depth record of every serious accident affecting one of their drivers.

Each employer would need to have an at-scene 'bump card', along with a vehicle accident report investigation and reporting form and a detailed list of codes to record the accident.

The 179-page guide includes a detailed self-audit for fleet decision-makers to assess their approach to risk, how drivers are assessed and what steps the business has taken to minimise the potential for crashes.

The Department for Transport paper, called Company Vehicle Incident Reporting and Recording (CoVIR), and released last week, was commissioned to give the Government a better understanding of accidents involving company vehicles in Britain, ranging from company cars to vans and pizza delivery mopeds. It recommends further research into the company car market, because of a poor response from operators.

It also calls for the introduction of training for junior and senior managers so they know how to operate any new accident reporting template and suggests that common key performance indicators are introduced.

The report also calls for police accident report forms to be changed, to include a question on the purpose of the driver's journey following an accident.

Finally, it suggests working more closely with a small number of fleets to analyse their data in detail and assess the use of in-vehicle black box technology to capture pre-crash and at-scene information and to closely monitor the use of the vehicle.

The report's author, Dr Will Murray, of the Centre for Automotive Industries Management at Nottingham Business School, said: 'Many companies still do little to proactively improve the limited information they have about numbers of accidents involving their vehicles, or the causes of those accidents.

'Without this information, it is impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of any of the proposed interventions. But the amount of information drivers are required to report to their employers about an accident, and the extent to which that information is then recorded and analysed by the company, is often very limited indeed.'

He added: 'In other countries, particularly in Australia and the USA, more is done by policy-makers at both federal and state level to help vehicle operators improve their safety performance through voluntary and mandatory safety audits. Current systems are strong on claims management, but weaker on accident investigation and analysis for risk management purposes.'

Electronic copies of the accident reporting files are available from author Dr Will Murray by emailing will.murray@ntu.ac.uk or calling 0115 848 4234.

  • For a copy of Company Vehicle Incident Reporting and Recording, log on to www.roads.dft.gov.uk/road safety/roadresearch/index.htm.
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