More than 10,000 incidents, ranging from car park bumps and scrapes to major traffic accidents, have been recorded. Drivers spend three-and-a-half days on average dealing with the aftermath, accident and claims management company Accident Exchange estimates.
Time lost includes waiting at the roadside after an incident, arranging car hire, visiting the police station and dealing with insurers and bodyshops.
Chief executive Steve Evans said: ‘Until you have been involved in an accident, it is hard to appreciate just how much hassle and time is involved in dealing with the fall-out.’
The company also said a growing number of uninsured drivers on Britain’s roads only exacerbate the problem as accident victims have to do even more chasing and fill in extra paperwork in the aftermath.
Companies were also warned recently that poor or incomplete accident reporting makes it harder to defend insurance or personal injury claims and also add to the indirect cost of crashes (Fleet News, November 7, 2006).
According to the Transport Research Laboratory, company car drivers have approximately 50% more crashes than ordinary drivers, even taking their higher mileage into account.
And experts at road safety charity Brake say that acting on minor incidents can help a fleet prevent major incidents in the future.
They also advise companies that analysing minor bumps and scrapes can identify trends that can be tackled. Fleet drivers should be trained in how to gather the necessary data quickly and accurately in the event of an accident.