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Fleets acknowledge safety but fail to implement policies

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Fleet managers cite safety as a major concern, yet just 15% of them include safety criteria in their company car policies.

The findings, from a European-wide study by eSafetyAware, suggest that many companies are paying lip service to safety. In reality, they have yet to adopt a robust policy.

When asked whether how they rated key criteria in terms of importance when deciding which vehicles to include on their fleet, 70% said safety, third highest behind Reliability (75%) and Price (73%).

Yet just 15% of company car drivers whose choice is restricted by company policy refer to safety as a constraint, behind even engine power, comfort and colour. Leasing rate/price dominates on 47%, followed by fuel type (35%), vehicle class (32%) and brand (28%).

The research found that duty of care features on 28% of company car purchase policies, while Euro NCAP ratings feature on just 17%.

Almost half of fleets agree or strongly agree that so-called eSafety technologies, such as electronic stability control, adaptive headlights and lane support systems, could decrease the number of accidents on their fleets; 13% disagree. Almost every fleet manager says that safety systems reduce accidents.

Despite this, just 7% of fleets have ESC on all their cars; 11% have it on the majority. Just under one in three (28%) have ESC on fewer than half their company cars while 21% claim they do not have ESC fitted on any vehicle.

A tiny 3% have emergency braking systems (EBS) on all cars while 6% have it on the majority. Just over half (55%) do not have emergency braking on all of their fleet vehicles. Research suggests that EBS could prevent almost three out of four rear impact accidents with injuries and fatalities.

Adaptive headlights are the most popular eSafety technology. One in five fleets says it is present on all cars; 26% have it on the majority.

Ignorance, price and lack of availability are the main reasons why fleets are not choosing the latest safety systems. Almost 40% of fleets say the systems are not available; 27% say they are too expensive; 16% are simply unaware of the systems. A further 24% say they have no need for such systems.

Jean Todt, eSafety Aware president, said: “Huge work has gone into developing electronic safety systems that can have a major impact on road safety. We now must get these technologies into the market

“Fleet managers can help ensure large sections of the vehicle population are equipped with eSafety – they should be on the front line in the battle to get eSafety fitted on all cars.”

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