Fleet managers and decision makers are losing out financially by overlooking safety, says RoadSafe.
Research by eSafetyAware, shows 60% of fleet managers in the UK believe safety is an important consideration when procuring vehicles. However, further responses in the survey of more than 100 fleet managers and decision makers in the UK, show many are not acting on their beliefs.
Less than a third (28%), said they look for a Euro NCAP rating when purchasing cars and vans. Only 42% said their policies considered duty of care. 41% said there were no requirements for specific safety equipment in vehicles, and substantial numbers were unaware of, or uninterested in, the latest electronic safety technologies.
In the UK, more than 150 vehicles driven on company business crash each day. Every year, an estimated 7000 deaths and injuries on UK roads involve at-work drivers. Business pays for this.
Adrian Walsh, RoadSafe director, says, “Fleet decision makers rightly focus on driver behaviour, but many seem to overlook the importance of buying or leasing safe vehicles.
“They must look out for those equipped with the latest technology, such as Electronic Stability Control, and those with the highest Euro NCAP ratings. There is a strong business case for investing in eSafety in fleets. Evidence from our campaign partners proves this.”
RoadSafe runs the government-backed campaign, Driving for Better Business. The programme is supported by organisations, which recognise the benefits of procuring vehicles with eSafety systems.
Arval UK is one such business. The fleet and fuel management company only purchases vehicles for its drivers that have ESC, and it provides a strong business case for employing eSafety.
Between 2007 and 2009, the number of incidents in Arval’s fleet fell from 40% to 25%. Since 2003/04, this ongoing decline has helped cut fleet repair costs by more than 50%.
Arval says investment in eSafety technologies has helped to achieve this. Compulsory extras in its fleet already included Advanced Braking Systems and reverse parking sensors, and in July 2008, ESC was also made a mandatory safety feature on all new company cars.
Arval fleet & road safety manager, Tracey Scarr, says, “Around 40% of fatal road accidents are a result of skidding and studies show that ESC will dramatically reduce this. Obviously, there is no substitute for careful driving, but this is a valuable safety feature that will help reduce the risk of death or serious injury for our drivers.
“The benefits are broad as ESC does not just make drivers safer, it also helps fleets meet their ongoing duty of care responsibilities, and reduce their accident costs. With this in mind we believe that fleets should be making the technology a standard requirement when selecting vehicles.”