Thu, 26 September 2019
80% of us reckon we have above average driving skills.
79.99% are probably mistaken.
Don’t believe us?
Several psychological studies have shown we overestimate our abilities and underestimate our shortcomings. Or, to be blunt, we’re not very good at evaluating our own performance.
If your employees drive around in vehicles emblazoned with your business name, this could spell trouble. Your drivers may think they’re safer than the vaults under Threadneedle Street. But they could unwittingly be damaging your reputation and costing you money with their bad habits.
Here’s a look at the business cost of bad driving and what you can do to address it.
According to the Highway Code, there are three types of bad driving:
This is rude or obnoxious behaviour such as:
This is where a driver behaves unreasonably or without due care and attention. You don’t leave enough space between you and another vehicle, for instance. Or cut someone off
Dangerous driving falls far below the standard the law expects. Speeding or aggressive driving, drunk driving and driving an unsafe vehicle fall under this category
Risk of accidents aside, falling foul of the law can open up your drivers to fines and points on their licence.
But bad driving isn’t necessarily illegal. It’s also those habits that could damage the vehicle or make it run less efficiently.
According to RAC, common bad driving habits include:
‘Slight’ accidents cost small businesses £25,500 on average. And that’s not counting the reputational harm.
When TomTom surveyed 1000 consumers, most of them said they’re put off a business if they have bad drivers. Which means that, aside from immediate costs, bad drivers can lose you business — and money — in the long term.
More to the point, driver behaviour determines 47% of a vehicle’s total ownership cost. In other words, bad driving doesn’t just expose you to the risk of accidents, third party liability claims and loss of productivity.
It also makes your fleet more expensive to run.
Insurers don’t like bad risks. This means your premium will go up if you claim too often. And you may even find it more difficult to get insured. According to Aviva, a massive 74% of your insurance premium is made up of the cost of claims.
By contrast, having good drivers on staff could cut your premium by up to 30%.
Bad drivers spend 67% more on fuel. By contrast, good driving habits can halve the number of petrol station stops — a saving of over £560 per vehicle per year.
Seeing as fuel can make up as much as 40% of your fleet’s running cost, this is a huge saving.
Bad driving means more risk of accidents. Which means the vehicle spends more time in the shop, racks up higher repair bills and spends less time on the road making you money.
But bad driving also increases wear and tear. And the AA reckons this could raise tyre costs by 73% a year and maintenance costs by a whopping 160% over two years.
Not to belabour the point. But bad driving costs you money.
A lot of money.
Which means you should make addressing it a priority.
Here are three ways you can do this:
Onboarding new drivers helps set expectations. It also shortens the learning curve and leaves less room for mistakes.
But ongoing training is just as important.
Driving causes more work-related accidents than any other task. So every penny you invest in training is well worth it. In particular:
Telematics track vehicles in real time. This allows you to identify problem areas — and problem drivers — so you can address them.
A good system can also coach your drivers in real time, empowering them to make better decisions. For instance, flashing LEDs or buzzers can alert them when they brake too harshly, overspeed or leave the vehicle idling too long.
Installing telematics helped the Hertfordshire Independent Living Service cut accidents by 43%. They also cut their insurance premium by 26%
Good fuel economy doesn’t just mean less trips to the petrol station. It can also slash your maintenance costs by up to 33%. For this reason, you should encourage your drivers to save fuel.
In particular, you should check the tyre pressure, engine oil and brakes regularly. Oh, and don’t forget other daily walk-around checks.
Again, telematics technology can help. Home in on who is driving most efficiently and also on who is wasting most fuel.
Single out fuel charges by vehicle and track driving behaviours that increase the bills. Plus:
Let’s help you get the fuel card that works best for your business.
iCompario is the free online marketplace for business products and services, where managers and owners can research and rapidly compare fuel cards, vehicle tracking systems, insurance, telecoms and other essentials. The team follows up online queries by telephone so every site visitor finds their ideal, future-proof product at the best price possible.