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Newly appointed Driver First Assist director urges fleets to back life-saving initiative

The call comes from vGroup International chairman Martyn Nash, who has become a director of Driver First Assist (DFA).

VGroup, a specialist in motor accessories, is already a sponsor of DFA – a non-profit making organisation that trains professional drivers to provide life-saving first aid and manage the scene at a road traffic collision, prior to the arrival of the emergency services.

Now, in his role as DFA director Martyn Nash hopes to use his influence to lobby companies operating vehicle fleets as well as fleet industry suppliers, motor manufacturers and franchise dealers to support the road-safety initiative, which received government backing earlier this year.

Nash said: “There are five road deaths every day on the UK’s roads and every year 22,800 people are seriously injured and almost 170,000 people slightly injured. We have got to reduce those numbers.”

With around 25% of crashes on UK roads involving at-work drivers and all incidents calculated by the government to cost the economy annually £16.3bn, he added: “Businesses do care about the health and well-being of their drivers so we hope more corporates will support DFA.”

Already LeasePlan has lent its support. The company’s high mileage employees are already DFA trained and now customers are being offered the opportunity.

LeasePlan UK HR director Steve Moss said: “Driving is one of the most dangerous things we do day to day. At LeasePlan UK we recognise this and so we offer solutions for safer driving both to our customers and our employees. This fits with our broader approach to being a responsible business where we believe that everyone has the right to work in a healthy and safe environment – especially if they spend a lot of time on the road. “That’s why we offered the opportunity to all of our employees who drive a lot of miles the chance to attend DFA training.

“The DFA programme is a really good way of giving drivers more skills to act as first responders to a medical situation on our roads – hopefully making them a safer place for all of us.

“Following the successful delivery of the training to our employees we have identified that the DFA initiative is something that would meet some of the objectives of our clients and we will be working with the DFA team to promote this with our clients.”

LeasePlan UK general manager – procurement Darren McMillan added: “Spending so much time in the car as I do, like so many of us, when I see accidents on the road I have wondered what could I do if I was needed to help or even if I had the skills to help.

“The excellent training from DFA has given me the knowledge and skills to be able to help if needed until the emergency services arrive. I’m now a part of a community of trained drivers that can support other road users.

“The DFA programme is an excellent opportunity for LeasePlan and DFA to work together to support our clients and increase the size of the trained community.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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.