Company car driver training urged

Company car driver training urged

Businesses are being urged to encourage better driving practices in an effort to cut the number of collisions involving company car drivers.

According to Lex Autolease, figures for 2012 show fleet drivers were responsible for more than two-fifths of all accidents involving a company car.

They were blamed for more than 18,000 of the 43,293 accidents they were involved in, the fleet management provider said.

Almost a fifth of the accidents occurred as a result of a company car driver coming into contact with a motionless object; such as a bridge, building or wall, while around the same amount (22%) involved collisions with a third-party vehicle.

A small number (2.7%) involved pedestrians, cyclists or animals.

The figures mean third-party vehicles were accountable for collisions in 43.5% of incidents involving company vehicles.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: "The RAC Report on Motoring 2013 revealed that 78% of company car drivers admit to fiddling with their sat-nav while driving, compared to 45% of private car owners. We know that distractions are a contributory factor of many accidents so this is a very worrying figure and one which is unfortunately borne out in the Lex research.

"Technology is both a blessing and a curse to motorists. The majority (86%) recognise that cars are safer today and 63% think it has made them safer than ever before, but nearly a quarter of motorists (24%) admit they have adjusted or programmed their sat-nav when driving, an increase of 2% on last year.

"Aside from technology the three biggest distractions for drivers are still talking to passengers (89%), adjusting car controls (80%) and eating or drinking (49%)."

Customers of Lex Autolease were forced to fork out more than £18.6 million to cover the cost of "at fault" damages, with repair costs, third party liabilities and rental costs for replacement vehicles averaging £1,033 for each claim.

Richard Harper, head of accident services at Lex Autolease, said: "The need to address this problem is more acute at this time of year following the end of British Summer Time.

"The starting point for businesses is to understand why accidents occur. Once they have this information, they can take steps to reduce collisions such as driver training programmes, assessing time and work pressures on their drivers and eliminating unnecessary journeys."

Copyright Press Association 2013