Fleet News

Honesty plea over cause of accidents

FLEETS are being urged to crack down on drivers who fail to report the cause of accidents properly – such as calling low speed dents 'damage while the vehicle was parked and unattended'.

Firms should also operate honesty schemes that encourage drivers to tell the truth about how accidents have happened to ensure better risk analysis.

University transport and logistics expert Will Murray adds that fleets should also collect, record and analyse data on 'hit while parked' accidents.

Murray, a research director at risk management company Interactive Driving Systems, said: 'The vast majority of fleet vehicle insurance claims happen at low speed and parking and manoeuvering is worthy of more attention by fleets.

'Honesty in reporting accidents should be encouraged, with strong consequences for drivers not reporting truthfully.'

Vehicles involved in accidents while stationary are usually classed as 'hit while parked' and according to research by Murray, account for almost 15% of all claims.

However, he believes the classification should be changed to 'inappropriate parking' with fleets placing more onus on the driver.

He said: 'In the UK there are two types of 'hit while parked data', those where the third party is known (3.4% of all claims) and those where the third party is not (14.6% of claims).

'Our research suggests that these should be treated separately, because the first figure is more certain than the second – because third party evidence is available.

'Whatever the exact causes of the high level of 'damage while parked' incidents, it is an issue that many fleets should focus on in detail to improve data collection, recording and analysis to allow better risk management of their assets.'

Action plan

Countermeasures to manage 'damage while parked' incidents:

  • Better reporting, recording investigation and analysis of incident types and locations to identify at-risk staff and particular blackspots
  • Encouraging honesty in reporting, with strong consequences for drivers not reporting truthfully
  • Targeted training interventions aimed at parking and manoeuvering, and the importance of honest and accurate claims reporting by drivers
  • Making 'hit while parked' an 'at-fault' incident type when there is no known third party or witness
  • Changing the name to 'inappropriate parking'
  • Detailed analysis of parking offences by drivers

    Source: Will Murray

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