A recent client setup involved a substantial amount of time covering GDPR and data risk. This got us thinking about how much time and thought goes into managing risk around an organisation’s data protection and privacy? We think this data risk effort and awareness takes up a fair amount of employee time. So, to the question, is Fleet Risk managed in a similar way?
Recent study suggest that Fleet Risk is not really on the agenda of many fleet owners and 33% don’t have a company vehicle policy in place. Why do such a substantial number of businesses take risks with drivers and their wellbeing?
For many businesses, fleets are seen as an essential activity to fulfilling the company activities. The risks of drivers and potential costs are not always seen. However, the results of poor planning and lack of duty of care are very apparent when things go wrong.
If a company employs a ‘delivery driver’, training is often given for how to handle and carry goods. They are considered professional drivers. If however you have a company car to allow to attend a sales meeting, the driving itself isn’t the job. But if you are driving any distance, should they be considered a professional driver?
Can you afford to avoid Fleet Risk?
Many companies leave issues with the driver to resolve. A 24 hour assistance line is provided and that is that. This is clearly inadequate as responsibility rests with managers and the organisation itself, which can be held liable for driver incidents.
The most obvious risk is that of accidents or breakdowns, and subsequent damage to fleet vehicles. Damage is a direct cost to the organisation and typically results in higher insurance premiums. And, as manufacturers continue to incorporate more technology into vehicles, incidents are becoming more expensive to repair – a trend that is very likely to continue.
Then there’s the more intangible cost of downtime. Unusable vehicles, replacement vehicle costs, rental costs or driver absence due to injury are all factors that need to be considered when considering Fleet Risk.
In the worst case, serious injury or fatality would can also create significant legal challenges. Potential fines or even CEO imprisonment can be levied onto a company due to poor management and / or no defined driver training policy.
Not only that, but a badly run fleet is a bad label to have. No organisation wants to be known as the company that doesn’t care about how their employees drive, whether it’s that they don’t park safely, frequently jump red lights, or simply don’t get where they need to be on time because of regular breakdowns.
Reducing Fleet Risk has to be a fleet priority
Every organisation is legally required to look after its employees and the general public. This includes managing risk to reduce the number and severity of incidents. This in turn, helps to reduce fleet costs related to repair costs, vehicle and personal downtime.
Programmes such as driver behaviour monitoring can help. This shows how driving styles can help to reduce accidents, improve fuel economy, reduce CO2 and ultimately create a driver safety culture.
Typically, reducing fleet risk is lower in the list than reducing cost and becoming more sustainable. If done well, managing fleet risk has the potential to impact both these first two aims.
Managing an issue after it happens really isn’t the best approach in any business activity.
Is data privacy more important than driver safety?
The old saying, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”, is so true.