Fleet Driver of the Year 2013 crowned at Fleet World Fleet Show
Second place went to Martin Candish from the Freight Transport Association, and David Mills from Amec secured third place.
The Fleet Driver of the Year is a new and unique driving competition that puts fleet drivers’ skills to the ultimate test through a thorough three-month assessment. The event was launched by ALD Automotive, in association with Fleet World and event partners Peak Performance and Toyota & Lexus Fleet Services, to find the UK’s best company car driver and promote safer, smarter driving.
Entrants took part in a three-month evaluation that began with a general driving knowledge test that examined their understanding of the Highway Code. The top 50 performing drivers were then required to complete the Fleet Driver Risk Index – an independent online psychometric assessment developed by Cranfield University and backed by over 25 years of academic research. It was designed specifically for fleet drivers and identifies behaviours that contribute to a driver’s increased risk of having an accident.
Following this rigorous assessment, the 25 leading contenders then had their driving style monitored for a month through the use of ALD’s ProFleet2 in-vehicle telematics systems. In total, over 50,000 miles of driving behaviour was analysed with each driving event (such as excessive speeding, braking or acceleration) deemed to impact negatively on cost, risk or carbon footprint recorded and maintained online.
Each week, drivers could see how they were performing through an anonymised league table which added to the competitive nature of the event, and highlighted the safest smartest driving style. At the end of the 30 day evaluation the top ten drivers were invited to take part in a series of specific skills testing and driving challenges at Silverstone during The Fleet Show.
Commenting on his achievement, winner Paul Cook said: ‘It’s fantastic to have won and to have my driving recognised in this way. Undertaking the challenges at Silverstone has been a great experience and I've really enjoyed taking part in the whole process. Through the telematics system I was conscious of driving more efficiently and safely. Over the month long period I reckon I saw a 20% increase in my fuel efficiency creating significant cost savings for me, as well as the business.’
Mel Dawson, managing director of ALD Automotive, added: ‘In devising the competition we felt that while there was a lot of attention paid to advances in manufacturing technology, and the increasingly complex role of the fleet manager, perhaps not enough focus was paid to the importance of the company car drivers themselves. Fleets may be funded in the most tax-efficient way and use the most fuel efficient cars available, but when the keys are handed over, it’s driving behaviour which has the biggest influence on cost, risk and CO2 output.
‘We would like to congratulate Paul on being named Fleet Driver of the Year 2013, and also thank all those drivers that enthusiastically entered the competition and the invaluable support from fleet managers. The drivers certainly had a lot of fun undertaking the challenges we set them, as well as competitively pushing their safe and smart driving ability to the limit. We’re really pleased with the success of the event and are already looking forward to next year’s competition.’