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86% of vehicle fleets have experienced an accident in past year, IAM survey finds‏

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The Institute of Advanced Motorists’ Drive & Survive division has been investigating the true extent of company car accidents – and found a shocking 86% of fleets have experienced an accident in the past 12 months, while 100% of fleets have had an accident where one of their drivers was ‘at fault’.

The findings come in IAM Drive & Survive’s first report of the year, titled ‘An analysis of bent metal amongst company fleets.’

IAM Drive & Survive surveyed fleet professionals within 100 businesses on their approach to and experience of accidents involving their fleet. The report stated: “The research shows that many companies are not addressing correctly this significant and avoidable overhead by putting in place sufficient measures to reduce the risk of incidents happening, or more worryingly, happening again to the same drivers.”

The report was commissioned in autumn 2014, and has produced some fascinating results. Some of the top-line figures revealed by the report include:

• Only 14% of fleets confirmed they had not had any vehicle incidents in their fleet in the last 12 months • Every fleet had suffered on-road incidents that were caused by their driver, i.e. an ‘at fault’ incident • Nearly half of all fleets said the average cost of repair per vehicle was over £1,000 • Only 33% of fleets said at-fault drivers faced some sort of punitive measure, i.e. fine, excess payments, etc • Over half said they didn’t offer any post-incident driver training as a means of reducing the risk of repeat incidents

The report added: “Few provide any driver training as a way of reducing the chance of the driver having another incident. Is this a good situation for company, fleet, vehicle or driver?”

In 2014 IAM Drive & Survive conducted a survey in 2014 which revealed 72% of people who drove for business reasons had been offered no training by their employer at all – even though 44% of them said they would welcome the opportunity.

According to Government figures, between 2008 and 2013, 3,493 people were killed in accidents involving a driver/rider driving for work, including 515 in 2013 (1).

And Driving for Better Business says up to one in three road crashes involves a vehicle being driven for work. It added that every week, around 200 road deaths and serious injuries involve someone at work (2).

IAM Drive & Survive also discovered that drivers of company vehicles are 25 per cent more likely than company drivers using their own vehicles to have a minor accident (3).

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “Accidents involving company car drivers represent a sizeable proportion of accidents on UK roads – and it’s a problem which needs tackling in a meaningful way.

“Fleet operators have a duty to their businesses, employees and other road users to ensure those individuals’ driving conduct is of the highest order. Often companies have full processes and procedures for Health and Safety, HR and Environmental best practice; but often none in place when the employees get behind the wheel of a car or van?”

IAM Drive & Survive’s report ‘An analysis of bent metal amongst company fleets’ can be downloaded by clicking here

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