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Changing driver demographics brings ‘perfect storm’ for road risk

Changes among workforce demographics are creating new road safety challenges for fleets, requiring a keener focus on risk management.

Steve Pinchen, sales director at Licence Bureau

Licence Bureau has highlighted the ‘perfect storm’ being faced by operators as a growing number of young people enter the workforce with ‘mobility expectations’ while at the other end of the spectrum, the retirement age of employed drivers continues to creep upwards.

Although middle management – broadly aged between 30-50 years – have historically been accepted as those likely to be driving for business, Millennials (born between mid-1980s to 2000 and currently accounting for 35% of the UK workforce) are challenging the status quo of ‘freedom of movement’ and ‘always on’ expectations.

This workforce demographic shift is followed by Generation Z (born between 1996-2000) who are also entering employment with their own ‘mobility expectations’ and ‘true digital native’ outlook.

Despite a generally held view that fewer young people aren’t interested in learning to drive, the Department for Transport’s (DfT) National Travel Survey (NTS) England 2018 showed the proportion of adults aged 17 to 20 with a driving licence increased by 8% in just one year.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the retirement age is due to increase to 68 and the number of licence holders in the 60-69 year-old category rose during 2018 to the highest level since records began in 1975/76, which could cause fresh challenges, particularly around insurance policy restrictions.

Commenting on the challenges rising at opposite ends of the employee spectrum, Steve Pinchen, sales director, Licence Bureau said: “The key is to ensure all company car drivers, grey fleet and user chooser drivers – are treated as individuals and given access to the appropriate support mechanisms such as risk assessments, employee audits and road safety training.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

One Comment

  • Edward handley22. Nov, 2019

    The average age of truck drivers (HGV) keeps going upwards but without the older drivers the transport industry would be in serious trouble!
    The driver shortage is getting steadily worse and the millennials seem very reluctant to train as professional drivers. Not hard to understand why – indifferent pay, long hours, poor conditions, over enthusiastic enforcement, etc..