The company car is considered by many, above all else, to be an employee benefit – a perk for both business and pleasure.
Inevitably, this mind-set has contributed to comparatively slower adoption of fleet management technology by managers of car fleets than by their counterparts operating vans and trucks. The latter are more readily viewed as professional business tools, with company car drivers traditionally feeling less comfortable with their whereabouts being tracked.
In truth, fleet management technology makes drivers’ lives easier. This includes cutting journey times and the stress caused by traffic congestion through improved navigation, simplifying the recording of business and private mileage, protecting them from working too many hours and mitigating the risk of accidents or speeding fines.
TomTom research has revealed that 36% of car fleet managers currently monitor driver performance to assess risk, with less than a quarter of those (22%) using technology to do so. In addition, 71% of companies admit they don’t provide regular training for drivers.
Fleet management technology can play a vital role in ensuring driver safety, and with a third of all road traffic accidents believed to be work-related there’s an increasing need for risk to be effectively managed. Whether employees are driving company or privately owned grey fleet vehicles, employers should pay the same heed to work-related road safety as they do to their general health and safety policies. Indeed, they are legally obliged to do so.
Encouragingly, 81% of those questioned in TomTom’s latest study do include work-related road safety as part of their company’s health and safety policy. 43% however fail to conduct regular risk assessments across their vehicle fleets, 40% do not have systems or procedures in place to manage driver fatigue and almost a third (32%) admit they are not fully aware of their exact requirements for managing road risk.
By fulfilling their duty of care obligations, companies can help protect their business reputations and also help to stem the tide of rising fleet insurance premiums. This becomes all the more compelling in light of two-fifths of UK companies claiming to have suffered from rising premiums in the past 12 months.
Fleet management technology with advanced driver behaviour monitoring tools can hold the key – empowering drivers to effect change and boost safety standards by improving their driving style and performance behind the wheel.