A recent survey by Sat Nav giant TomTom has revealed that 39% of UK van drivers drive more carefully in their personal vehicles than in their employers’ vans.
The reasons for their increasingly conscientious driving stemmed from a desire to keep fuel costs and vehicle wear and tear to a minimum (67%) and the absence of time constraints often present at work (29%). It is this time pressure that resulted in over half (59%) speeding or taking unnecessary risks when driving their work van.
It is not that van drivers are unaware of safe driving practices, as they clearly demonstrate them when driving their own vehicles; it is instead the pressures of work which are having an adverse affect on their performance. However, these drivers are also having a detrimental impact on the profitability of their employers as a direct result of rising fuel costs and an increase in accidents.
Thomas Schmidt, business solutions managing director at TomTom, said: “The onus is on employers to take action by encouraging higher standards behind the wheel and minimising the time pressures facing mobile workers.”
One potential solution to the erratic driving displayed by some UK van drivers is the installation of technology which monitors both fuel efficiency and driving performance, although at present, just 35% of respondents said their employers were making use of such technology.
The collaboration of businesses with their drivers is a major contributory factor in the improvement of driving techniques. Raising awareness of the effect erratic driving techniques can have both on the condition of the vehicle and the profitability of the business can make drivers more responsible, as can real-time feedback which informs drivers where their driving can be improved. This can lead to further training for those who, after being given instruction, are still fail to drive to the required standard.
Another benefit of the installation of technology which measures a driver’s performance is the potential for lower van insurance quotes. This can have a big impact on reducing the costs of fleet management.
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