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Double trouble for fleets: tired drivers and dangerous cars

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Tired drivers and unroadworthy pool cars are the two latest danger areas to be highlighted by new research in the week that the Corporate Manslaughter Act becomes law.

With risk management now an even more central part of a fleet manager’s job thanks to the new law, and 65% of company vehicles involved in road accidents according to RoSPA, two surveys have found that 20% of drivers don’t recognise the signs that they are driving while tired, and around a fifth of pool cars on company fleets are not roadworthy.

Extensive research by RAC technicians on more than 21,370 pool cars found that 16% of them were unroadworthy.

Around 8% did not have correct fluid levels under the bonnet, 14% had incorrect tyre tread or pressures, and 19% did not have a full service history.

Adrian McCarthy, head of RAC vehicle inspections service, said: “It is clear from our inspections that pool cars are often neglected or badly maintained.

“With growing concerns over duty of care, especially with the introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter Act, companies should look carefully at whether procedures and policies are in place to successfully run a fleet of pool cars, and minimise the potential risk of an accident and avoid the risk of prosecution."

He added: “Fleet managers of pool cars should find these results alarming, as their own vehicles could currently be at risk of incurring high costs and scrutiny from the Health and Safety Executive.”

To combat the issue of tired drivers, a major problem since one-in-five crashes on major roads are caused by tired drivers, the Government is launching a campaign which includes a radio advertisement, online advertising on journey planning websites and messaging at service stations.

It is being targeted primarily at those who drive for work as research shows they are at particular risk.

  • For the full lowdown on risk issues facing fleets, Fleet News is hosting the Risk in Fleet conference on April 22 at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham.

For more details, log on to www.riskinfleet.co.uk

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