The average small to medium-sized business faces a £6,000 repair bill each year and five days of vehicle downtime due to road collisions, research by Verizon Connect has found.
The telematics supplier found that more than half (54%) of fleets surveyed experienced an incident in the past year, with a third of respondents saying that maintenance and other associated costs is the top issue keeping them awake at night.
Derek Bryan, vice-president, EMEA, Verizon Connect, said: “For small businesses, the cost of accidents, and driver downtime are major concerns – particularly as margins are tighter and competition is increasing. But it’s not just the repair bill that matters, a vehicle out of service for five days could mean losing a valued customer to a rival.
“With increasing numbers of vehicles out on the road, upholding driver safety is of upmost concern to fleet managers and drivers.
"While drivers can’t always avoid an accident, particularly if another driver is at fault, there are clear processes and technology that fleet managers can put in place to better protect their drivers.
"Making sure drivers take adequate rest breaks, while tracking driver behavior and encouraging safe driving practices can save lives, reduce accidents and uphold the lifetime and efficiency of the vehicles within the fleet."
The research also found that fleet managers’ top concern regarding driver safety is using their phones while out on the roads (22%), with speeding the next biggest concer (19%).
Fleet managers said that third parties were at-fault in 29% of incidents.