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Lax attitudes to grey fleet and mobile phones putting drivers at risk

Fleets are putting driver safety at risk by failing to address the grey fleet and not clamping down on mobile phone use behind the wheel.

The tool calculates a distracted driving score from 1-10 for the driver after each trip

Almost half (49%) of executive directors expect their employees to answer their phone at any time

A survey by Driving for Better Business found that almost half (49%) of executive directors expect their employees to answer their phone at any time.

And one in six employees who drive for work (17%) said they have been involved in an incident when driving for work due to a phone call from a colleague.

Meanwhile despite that it is illegal, one in 20 of the 255 executive directors surveyed and one in eight of the 1,000 employees thought the hard shoulder was a safe place to take a phone call.

The DfBB research also uncovered employer failings to take action on grey fleet risk. Although three-quarters (75%) of executives polled said they ensure employees are aware of their legal obligations in relation to driving for work, nearly half of employees surveyed (45%) who use their personal car for work said they have not been given a copy of their employer’s driving for work policy.

And 60% of directors were unsure if or how many employees use their own car for business yet 90% of drivers said they make work journeys in their own cars – but one in three (33%) are not insured to do so. Meanwhile four in 10 (44%) executives said their organisations do not check that workers who use their personal car for business journeys have a valid driving licence.

In response, the DfBB has said that employers should be ensuring their organisation has a clear driving for work policy that sets out the standards required of drivers in order to ensure that any ‘driving for work’ activities are compliant with all relevant legislation and guidelines. This policy needs to be regularly reviewed, communicated effectively to drivers, and companies must ensure compliance with the policy is monitored.

The organisation also called for both company leaders and employees to take dual responsibility on occupational road risk.

Simon Turner, campaign manager, Driving for Better Business, said: “Leaders must implement a driving for work policy that enforces legal and ethical obligations on all employees that drive on work-related journeys. Regular checks need to be put in place to ensure that employees have read and understood the guidelines laid out in the driving for work policy.  In doing so, the associated risk to road users and pedestrians is reduced.

“A good practice driving for work policy ensures that at a minimum, organisations are compliant with all relevant legislation and guidelines. Once implemented, these policies complement more general employee safety and wellness programmes as well as introduce efficiencies that reduce costs associated with employees that drive for work purposes,” added Turner.

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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.