A wide range of fleets give risk management of cars 'much lower priority' than for vans, says fleet management software specialist FleetCheck.
This may be because vans are viewed more as working tools that are often treated roughly, while cars are judged to be better looked after by their drivers as they are seen as personal transport, said Peter Golding, managing director of FleetCheck.
He said: “This is something that we see time and again, especially in SMEs. Managers view vans as purely working vehicles and, for that reason, automatically apply health and safety thinking to them, realising that their safety is a corporate liability.
“However, they perceive cars much more as personal transportation and simply do not place them in the same mental space. It is almost as though they think that the responsibility for safety lies with the driver.
“Clearly, that thinking is wrong. All fleet safety responsibility is the same, regardless of vehicle type.”
Golding said that many fleet operators do not realise that the same risk management legislation applies to both LCVs and cars.
He added: “Time and again, we’ll be asked, for example, about legal responsibilities when it comes to servicing and maintenance of LCVs. We’ll explain the situation and then say, ‘You do know that the same applies to your cars?’ and often receive a blank look in return.
“For this reason, we feel confident in saying that, across a wide range of fleets but especially in the SME area, cars are often being given much lower risk management priority.”