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Fleets most concerned over mobile phone use behind the wheel

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Fleet operators are most worried about the use of mobile phones, speeding, eating or drinking behind the wheel and tired driving, according to a Webfleet Solutions survey.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of UK fleet decision-makers say poor driving behaviour is negatively impacting their business.

The findings, from a survey of 1,050 European fleet decision makers and published in the European Road Safety Report 2021, suggest that the use of mobile phones and other devices (71%), followed by speeding (69%), eating or drinking behind the wheel (68%), and driving while fatigued (67%) are their biggest areas of concern.

More than two-thirds (68%) of UK commercial fleets have vehicles involved in road collisions every year, and 61% say that, on average, they have at least one insurance claim a month made against their company by other road users.

“Significant investment is being made in developing more powerful hardware and software to make vehicles safer,” said Beverley Wise, sales director UK and Ireland for Webfleet Solutions.

“Telematics, for example, can improve the safety of commercial fleets by offering powerful insights into driver behaviour. Fleet managers and decision makers can access a range of valuable data points from each driver trip, with an overview of incidents like speeding, harsh steering, or sudden braking.

“This data can be paired with vehicle camera footage, offering fleet managers context of why these events occur.  

“Driver-facing cameras, using Artificial Intelligence (AI), also assist in better driving by detecting various types of unsafe behaviours and alerting the driver to correct their course before an accident occurs.”

Wise says that the integrated solution gives fleet managers “full transparency and clarity”, allowing them to protect their drivers from non-fault claims and coach them to drive more safely.

According to the European Road Safety Report survey, UK fleet decision makers were most likely to have adopted reversing and side camera technology to help improve road safety (40%) and half (51%) of businesses said they were offered a lower premium if they adopted a telematics system.

Driven largely by the positive impact connected cameras can have on insurance claims, the stringent new vision regulations coming into force in parts of the UK will also play a role in connected camera uptake.   

“This latest research underlines the need to improve road safety of UK fleets, and the best way to achieve that is through better driving habits and improved visibility,” added Wise. 

“Legislative change will certainly encourage uptake of technology in the coming years but fleet decision makers should aim to be one step ahead and use technology and telematics to their competitive advantage.”

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