Duty of care risks rise

The risk of potentially costly duty of care problems for fleet managers is increasing, according to The Fuelcard People.

Steve Clarke, group marketing manager at The Fuelcard People, made the comment in reference to the three separate sets of statistics issued during October. He said, ‘When viewed together, recent news from the Department for Transport (DfT), the Institute of Car Fleet Management (ICFM) and the RAC combine to paint a sombre picture for fleet managers. They need to understand their legal obligations and plan accordingly.’

At the end of September, the DfT’s 2015 Contributory factors for reported road accidents report was published. It showed the impact of drivers being careless, reckless or in a hurry increasing by nine percent during 2014, compared with 2010. Accidents featuring drivers making poor turns or manoeuvres have risen even more significantly, by 15% over the same period. The incidence of drivers failing to look properly is also up by five percent.

Steve said, ‘Drivers of all types of vehicle are increasingly creating avoidable risks, putting employers in jeopardy. More than 25% of all road accidents involve somebody driving as part of their work. If a driver causes an accident while driving on your behalf, you could be held liable. Using a mobile phone while driving is charged as dangerous driving, for which an unlimited fine is possible. Anyone responsible for their organisation’s vehicles must have a clear duty of care policy, fully understood by all drivers, and enforce its compliance.’