Fleet News

Motorcycles in fleet: Two wheels or four - more fleets make their choice

EVERY important decision in life has to be made bearing in mind a list of good points and not so good.

For example, when buying a house, a couple of parking spaces and a neat garden may sound tempting. But if the house faces an industrial workyard then you may decide not to buy it.

The same applies to various modes of transport. If one of your drivers has inquired about switching from a company car to a motorcycle, a list of factors needs to be considered before making a final decision.

There are clearly significant benefits. These include the fact that drivers can avoid congestion charges, slash fuel costs and reduce their benefit-in-kind taxation level – all of which sound appealing.

But on the downside, riders should be urged to consider issues such as maintenance.

Motorbikes require more regular servicing and can cost more when it comes to tyres, particularly the rear tyre on high performance variants.

There are also luggage constraints, so giving the go ahead for a driver to switch to a bike without considering his or her need to carry samples or stands for exhibitions is short-sighted.

Then there are the impracticalities of riding to work in the pouring rain and arriving with a soaking wet suit.

There is also the issue of risk. Despite higher levels of training for motorcyclists, any accidents they are involved in are often much more serious, with a higher risk of a fatality.

The Government is to introduce a new strategy later this year in a bid to curb the number of people killed on Britain’s roads in motorcycle accidents – including those riding while on business.

Although motorcycling represents just 1% of all motor traffic, it accounts for 18% of all road fatalities and serious injuries.

Figures show that in 2003 a total of 693 motorcyclists were killed, an increase of 14% on the previous year. The number of people seriously injured was up by 1% to 6,959.

So motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to be killed in a road accident than car users and four times more likely to be killed than cyclists.

Clearly the freedom of motorcycling has a price, which makes effective risk management vital.

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