Crash investigator Jody Oliver told a meeting of the Midlands region of the Association of Car Fleet Operators that the human body could still only cope with the same damage his ancient ancestors could, but it is now relatively easy to drive cars capable of 150mph-plus.
Asking decision-makers what a collision was, he said: ‘It is a rare event in which one or more road users fails to cope with their environment, resulting in a collision.’
And although in the UK 3,500 people die every year, worldwide the tally is 1.2 million, equivalent to one death every 25 seconds.
He added: ‘In 15 hours we lose more lives than global aviation does in a year.’
In this environment, it is not surprising that there is an increasing focus on improving fleet safety. Furthermore, the legislation is already there to prosecute companies, it just hasn’t been used yet, he said.
He added: ‘If you have something that demonstrates duty of care, then the most important thing is to have a good policy document. It does not cost a lot of money, but you need to cover duty of care issues.’
From there, he said, it was a matter of targeting areas where decision-makers could be most effective in reducing the risk of accidents. Examples included targeted driver training and simple devices including reversing alarms.