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Winter driving doubles risks for fleet drivers

Winter weather and the festive season double the risk of accidents for fleet and work drivers, warns DriveTech.

The firm, part of the AA and a specialist in fleet risk and safety management and driver training, highlights that the number of casualty crashes caused by driving too fast for conditions nearly doubles from October to December. ‘Pressure to meet schedules’ is a key factor in drivers taking risks on the road, while increased workloads, fatigue and road rage are among the other top risks at Christmas.

In fact, work drivers are 48% more likely to drive while fatigued, 40% more likely to tailgate, 40% more likely to commit undertaking errors and 25% more likely to commit junction errors.

Winter driving conditions are a further key risk factor and, overall, driving accidents increase by 20% in winter and are much higher in December than any other month of the year.

Yet, despite the fact that one in three road deaths involve a vehicle being driven for work, 71% of UK companies do not provide regular training for drivers. Additionally, 39% of companies do not have systems or procedures in place to manager driver fatigue and almost a quarter admit that they are not fully aware of their exact requirements for managing road risk. Yet, by simply expanding driver risk management approaches, companies could reduce accident rates by as much as 35%.

Colin Paterson, head of marketing at DriveTech, said: “We urge companies to ensure that all employees who drive for work are trained and prepared. Employees who drive on business are more likely to be killed at work than those employed as deep-sea divers or coal miners! Despite statistics demonstrating increased risks for fleet and at work drivers, less than one quarter of companies have regular training for their drivers.”

Written by 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. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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