Fleet News

Private car users ignored by fleets

MORE than half of employers with staff who drive their own vehicles for business use never check the cars are fit for work purposes.

Such fleets are leaving themselves open to prosecution under corporate manslaughter law should any of their drivers be involved in a fatal accident while driving for work and the vehicle is found to have a fault.

The shock finding is revealed in a National Car Rental and Fleet News 2004 Duty of Care Survey, which quizzed more than 300 drivers and fleet managers.

A total of 64% of drivers said checks were never carried out on their vehicles by employers but in answer to a separate question 77% said they have it checked themselves.

Fleet executives responding to the survey were also asked whether their companies monitor employee vehicles used for business purposes.

A total of 40% admitted such checks were never carried out, although more than 16% of executives ensure this happens as regularly as once a month. Almost a quarter of fleet executives ensure their employees’ vehicles are checked at least once a year.

On a more positive note, more than half of drivers (59%) had undergone additional driver training to ensure they are safer on the roads, with almost a third of those having done this at least three times.

Almost all drivers (96%) were told by their employers about last year’s ban on using a hand-held mobile phone while driving, mostly through internal communication, with only 3% of respondents continuing to break the law.

The remainder either use a hands-free kit or stop the car before answering their mobile. The survey also found that 16% of respondents were caught speeding this year – 13% more than twice – and 19% of companies never monitor mileages covered by individual drivers.

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