In 2017, there were some 12,500 collisions involving vans that caused injury or death compared to 5,000 for HGVs. And that’s not counting all of the van prangs and shunts which caused downtime, damaged vehicles and racked up insurance costs without actually hurting anyone.
Every business today is cost-sensitive and for any organisation running light commercial vehicles, (LCVs), driving down the rate of collisions is one of the key ways they can reduce costs. This is particularly important in the van sector because the vehicle itself is often not directly revenue generating. Rather it is a way of moving workers, tools or equipment to the point of revenue generation.
The true costs of a van collision
Every time an LCV driver has a collision, it will cost the company money in most of the following ways:
- Own vehicle damage
- Third party vehicle (or other property) damage
- Third party credit hire costs
- Vehicle replacement costs
- Contract disruption or a dissatisfied customer
- Insurance excesses
- Wasted employee time
- Higher insurance premiums at renewal
- Personal injury claims
All of these are expensive, but the last one needs particular attention. Since the government’s changes to the Ogden discount tables, the cost of personal injury claims has sky rocketed. Motor insurance is the most vulnerable to this type of claim. Many insurers warned that not only would fleet insurance premiums increase, but also that fleets who failed to manage their work-related road risk may find themselves uninsurable. You can find out more about this in our short eBook on how to manage fleet insurance costs, with safety fundamentals.
How can a video-based safety programme help van fleets reduce collisions and cut costs?
Let us count the ways.
- It captures footage of risky driving events. These are reviewed, analysed and sent back to fleet managers with specific coaching insights for the driver. This is invaluable, objective real-world commentary on driving risk. Our clients tell us this is the most effective way to improve driver safety.
- Collision footage is provided quickly to the company, who can in turn pass it to their insurer, giving rapid first notification of loss (FNOL). This lets your insurer act fast and reduce credit hire and other additional fees.
- Footage can provide incontrovertible proof of fault – helping to dismiss fraudulent claims and exonerate drivers.
- Not-at-fault incidents that would usually be settled 50-50 can now be proven.
- Video-based safety focuses on the root-cause behaviours that cause collisions – meaning you can start to reduce proactively your collision rate. Managers can see the issues that will one day lead to a collision if not addressed.
- Fewer collisions means fewer damage claims and less risk of personal injury claims. It also means more reliable customer service.
- Safer driving is gentler on your bottom line – drivers use less fuel and vehicle parts last longer.
- Safer, more considerate drivers are good for your brand. They protect your reputation with customers and with the public.
- Using a safety system in which both line managers and drivers are engaged improves communication and morale at every level of the business. Employees who feel that their welfare is important are ‘sticky’ – your staff retention will improve.
- Companies can give insurers objective third-party risk scoring for their fleets and their drivers – and can demonstrate improvement. Insurers look favourably upon interventions such as video-based safety when calculating premiums.
There is more and van-using fleets who wish to improve the bottom line should look to road safety. Investment in this arena brings rapid and substantial returns.
To find out more see our whitepaper Five Great Reasons to Add a Video-Based Safety Management Programme.
- Posted by Nicola Burgess
- On December 7, 2018