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Vast majority of fleets failing to address driver safety adequately

Over 500 UK businesses were surveyed for the report, which found that only 54% of businesses have completed full written assessments of the risks involved in asking employees to drive for business purposes. A total of 36% said they did not have a procedure in place and worryingly, 11% weren’t able to say. And although 80% of those questioned said they have employer policy manuals in place, to outline company policies and employee responsibilities with regards to driving on business, only 52% have policy handbooks for employees.

Simon Turner, managing director, Fleet21 said: ’These findings identify a real absence of understanding by UK businesses of their legal obligations and exposure to risk, which is concerning both for the safety of staff and the financial safety of the business.

‘The easiest way for businesses to manage these obligations, and in turn minimise this risk, is to have a suitable driver policy in place and a driver handbook available to all employees. This handbook should clearly state their personal responsibilities and why these are important, both for them, and you as their employer.’

The research also found that 13% of employers allocate a fixed budget for driver safety and compliance. A staggering 64% do not and 23% don’t know.

Looking forward, whilst 64% of respondents say the ongoing economic climate has not impacted their approach to driver safety, 17% say they are trying to maintain the same approach but with less budget.

Turner concluded: ‘While we appreciate budgets are tight for businesses of all sizes, it is startling to see the vast majority failing to set aside adequate provisions to address driver safety and compliance. It is clear from these findings that there is an obvious need to educate business owners about the obligations they have to their staff. A failure to address these now, could land many companies in very serious situations further down the line.’

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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.