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.