Fleet News

Agenda for Action Conference: Spend on strategy, save on repairs

CONFERENCE delegates were told that drivers are potentially the single most dangerous component in a company.

Malcolm Noyle, Lloyds TSB autolease government and green fleet development manager, urged companies to carry out proper vetting procedures on prospective employees.

He said: ‘You may be about to employ the sales rep from hell, so assess their risk to you and their history first. Two thirds of company car drivers have a collision every year and nearly a third of all road collisions are work related.’

Average ‘bent metal’ repairs cost between £750 and £4,500 and 95% of road accidents were avoidable, with ‘human alone’ accounting for 65%.

Employers worried that widening their fleet strategy would cost money, but a comprehensive fleet strategy could save company and driver money and increase safety.

Noyle said it was essential to understand how drivers and vehicles related to a duty of care policy. Firms allowing employees to use private cars on company business should realise a business journey could be one to a local post office.

He urged mandatory driver training which could stop people making basic mistakes such as driving too close to the vehicle in front. Most fleet cars had ABS brakes but many drivers did not know how it affected their driving.

Firms should assess whether journeys were always necessary and consider alternatives such as video-conferencing. Telematics could make driving safer and save time spent on the road. Noyle said fleet managers should think about what happens after an accident and consider issuing crash kits which should include an action sheet, camera, report forms and a yellow jacket.

Tackling road accidents was important because they cost the country an estimated £2.7 billion a year.

Vehicle repair, injury compensation and legal fees were among the obvious costs, but others included management, investigation and administration time, damage to image and reputation and inconvenience.

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