Fleet News

Cash shortages putting UK fleet drivers at risk

TWO-THIRDS of all fleets believe they have done enough to meet their duty of care obligations.

The remainder of companies feel they are not doing enough to meet their responsibilities and have given an insight into the barriers that prevent them from doing so.

Reasons include ‘a lack of boardroom support’, ‘it is not regarded as a priority’ and ‘not knowing what steps to take’.

The results are polled from an online survey of up to 260 fleets carried out by National Car Rental in conjunction with Fleet NewsNet.

Other findings include 75% of respondents claiming they or someone within their business has read the Health and Safety Executive’s Driving for Work handbook and that 65% believe the Government is not doing enough to tell fleets what they should be doing to meet their duty of care to drivers.

National executives say the aim of the survey was to better understand the current thinking among fleet industry professionals and to learn whether increasing awareness has led to some concrete action being taken.

Neil McCrossan, vice-president commercial development at National Car Rental, said the survey’s results show fleets are moving in the right direction but that there is still some way to go.

He said: ‘It’s certainly hugely encouraging that more than 63% of those who responded to this survey felt they had taken enough steps to meet their duty of care responsibilities and we know that the provision of rental vehicles will have a part to play in this.

‘However, what is still needed is clarity from the Government – fleets need to know what they should be doing to meet their duty of care to drivers.

‘Maybe then, those businesses that are struggling to get support from board members will feel more empowered to put the processes in place to protect employees and the business.’

And the fact that fleet managers were calling on their suppliers for more advice was also seen as a positive move.

Drivers must be trained to accept responsibility

THE survey identified training drivers to understand and accept the risks involved in driving as the most effective solution to enhancing safety.

A total of 52% of respondents highlighted this measure, with others opting for using telematics in vehicles to record mileages (9%), financially penalising drivers for damage to vehicles (10%) or training drivers in road awareness/anticipation skills (24%).

McCrossan said: ‘Not surprising, then, that 68% felt the current driving test was not enough to equip drivers with the necessary skills to drive on our roads. Perhaps we need a re-think on driver training programmes.’

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