Learning Zone

The importance of tracking fleet accident statistics

By Ellen Sowerby
20 January 2021

Improve your fleet operations by tracking vehicle accident statistics

The results can be utilised to understand areas of concern and help develop methods of improving safety

fleet accident between 2 cars

According to the Brake road safety charity, at least one in three (31%) fatal crashes and one in four (26%) serious injury crashes in Britain involve someone driving for work.  
The Campaign for Better Driving report declares that HGV drivers  are seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash which is an double that of ten years ago.
It’s worth noting that any data indicating higher accident rates for fleets and fleet accident statistics in general doesn’t always account for the number of miles driven per year in business vehicles. For example, while a typical non-fleet driver in the UK travels around 7,500 miles annually, most fleet drivers travel around 18,000 miles or or more each year on company business, and therefore have a greater exposure to crash risk.

What is the cost to fleets?

For fleets, that significant risk to employees who drive for their jobs is compounded by the high cost of fleet vehicle accidents. Among the most expensive claims for businesses, the average cost of a loss related to a fleet vehicle accident can be as much as twice the cost of an average workplace injury.

And, along with vehicle and other property damage, such crashes cause a loss of productivity and revenue, expose a company to liability claims when their employee is at fault, and for self-insured operations have direct costs.

According to the International Loss Control Institute, for every £1 an insurer pays out, the uninsured losses can be as much as between £8 and £53!

Implementing driver safety programs

Concern for company personnel and other motorists, liability exposure and accident-related costs all drive up the need for more focused safety efforts among fleets. By taking proactive steps to reduce accidents among their mobile work forces, companies that are working on finding ways to avoid preventable accidents are employing several programs and approaches that do work.

Accident rates have been known to reduce by as much as 38% after drivers have been through advanced driver training courses.

Measures that a fleet manager can take are a combination of programs, policies and technology including:

  • Implementing training. This is to promote safe driving behaviours and address issues such as speeding and hard braking. Fleet driver safety training can also be used to counter negligence claims made during accident litigation.
  • Adopting vehicle safety technologies. These include optional systems for an additional cost. Currently, vehicle manufacturers are making safety technology previously found only on upscale models available on typical fleet vehicles.
  • Establishing and communicating written safety policies. These need to set clear and consistent expectations that are backed by the enforcement of established consequences of non-compliance. One common policy, for example, covers the use of mobile devices whilst operating company owned, leased or personal vehicles on company business – a fifth of UK businesses have reported crashes due to mobile phone use.

Using a comprehensive management solution

Approaches to management can be implemented and supported through an increased level of visibility into safety data on drivers by the employment of fleet accident management software. As part of a comprehensive fleet and asset enterprise management solution, such software helps ensure that driver policy meets with compliance requirements.

It can analyse potential risk by providing:

  • Up-to-date, organized and easily accessible driver records in a central repository. A system of alerts and reminders can be created for pending, due or past due renewable deadlines.
  • A fully auditable accident management package. This covers road risk policies, incident reporting, repair details for insurance claims and communications with third parties and other agencies.

Improving fleet safety may be complex, but it’s too costly to not be seen a key area of fleet management focus at all times.

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