24% of all accidents were caused by company drivers colliding with a third party
Businesses paid out more than £26m in insurance excess payments last year
Businesses are being urged to raise the driving standards of their employees after new figures from Lex Autolease revealed that company drivers were at fault for almost half of all accidents involving a company vehicle last year.
Analysis of Lex Autolease’s accident management fleet shows that company drivers were at fault for nearly half of the 44,448 accidents recorded in 2013 by the UK’s largest fleet provider.
24% of all accidents were caused by company drivers colliding with a third party. More than 3,000 drivers crashed into the back of a third party vehicle and over 2,000 hit a third party whilst reversing.
Richard Harper, Head of Accident Services at Lex Autolease, said: “These figures are certainly food for thought, and it is clear that businesses need to do more to improve the driving standards of their employees. Road safety is paramount, of course, but there are additional economic benefits to be reaped from educating drivers to act more responsibly on the roads.”
The figures reveal that many company drivers display a worrying lack of basic care and attention, with almost one in ten of all accidents being caused by drivers colliding with an immobile object such as a bridge, wall or fence. The cost of such collisions to businesses totalled more than £2.5m.
Thankfully, collisions with pedestrians and cyclists were a rare occurrence. Just 334 of the 44,448 accidents (0.7%) recorded involved a collision with these other road users.
Harper continued: “Compared to other hazards employees encounter in the workplace, driving is often viewed as less of a risk. However, in many industries, driving is the single biggest risk that employees will face during the course of their working day, so it’s especially worrying that company drivers are at fault in half of the incidents we recorded.
“Businesses need to have proper procedures in place to reduce accidents, particularly those caused by poor driving behaviour, and investigate why accidents occur. They should consider the impact of time or work pressures and any distractions posed by in-car technology. Once businesses understand the root cause of accidents, they can take steps to educate drivers on the danger and minimise associated risks.”