The mentality of today’s fleet drivers is a key challenge for the fleet industry, according to the Institute of Car Fleet Management (ICFM).
Peter Eldridge, director of the ICFM, who was speaking at the Breakfast for Beginners session at Fleet Management Live, said that there had been a “significant change in ownership” since the ICFM was founded in 1992, with some drivers not taking as much care of their vehicles these days and behaving dangerously behind the wheel – in particular, texting while driving.
“It does indicate the change in mentality of today’s fleet drivers; it’s a challenge for us all,” Eldridge said. “From your perspective, it’s vital you’re on top of risk management and the mentality of your drivers. Constantly remind them that they are driving a dangerous piece of equipment and they need to treat it as such. One small slip can be life changing."
Paul Hollick, chairman of the ICFM, added: “The most important thing is to sort out your fleet policy. Make sure it’s robust, accurate, up to date and does what you want it to do, and it’s not just one page of A4 - it’s a proper document that the drivers sign before they get behind the wheel.”
Companies also need to consider strategies to change driver behaviour and make sure that they are safe on the road.
Hollick said: “Whether you like it or not you’re always going to have one or two per cent of drivers that just don’t really care. That becomes, arguably, an HR issue. It’s getting the other 98% into a position where you’re comfortable with them on the road. And how do you do that? Is it league tables? Is it incentives if they’re driving well? If they’re not filling out their claims properly do they get a penalty or do they end up with a slap on the wrist or nothing maybe from a cultural perspective? How do you drive the right behaviour? That’s a question you need to think about.”