Push for fleet safety reminder

Fleet managers must remind drivers of the increased dangers of winter driving, according to The Fuelcard People.

Commenting on the joint publication from the Department of Transport (DfT) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – Modelling the impact of the weather on road casualty statistics – Steve Clarke, group marketing manager, Fuelcard People said, ‘Common sense dictates that road accidents are more likely in bad weather, but this research shows just how seriously fleets could be affected and it has important duty of care implications.’

The DfT and ONS evaluated monthly road accident statistics between January 1991 and December 2014. The casualties were grouped by fatalities, seriously injured and slightly injured. These were further classified as car occupants, motorcycle users, cyclists and pedestrians. Altogether, these amounted to 94% of all road accident casualties during the 14-year period. The DfT and ONS then used Met Office data to map the monthly casualties against rainfall and temperature figures during the same timeframe.

Steve Clarke said, ‘This long and complex report has confirmed that colder winter weather and higher than average rainfall means more serious accidents. As winter approaches, fleet managers must accept not just that their drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents, but that the consequences are also likely to be more serious. This increases the duty of care liability on fleet managers. If a post-accident investigation shows that a driver has not been advised of the need for greater care during winter, it could be argued that their manager has neglected duty of care obligations.’