GWA has put together this helpful guide to accident management, in the hope you can keep your company’s repair costs in check and slash vehicle downtime.
1. Accept the inevitable. Even the safest of fleets will have to deal with accidents. The stark reality of operating vehicles is that drivers will have accidents. It is not something you can stop but you can handle it quickly and efficiently. The process of accident management can be time consuming, therefore it often makes sense to outsource it.
2. The Bigger Picture. Examining additional elements such as license checks, Maintenance records and if available telematics data alongside post-accident information will give you a clearer idea of what’s actually going on. If you are better informed you are in a stronger position to take preventative action against such incidents in the future.
3. No Fleet Too Small. Accident management applies just as much to small fleets as it does to blue chip companies. SME’s operating fewer than 10 vehicles are just as exposed to risk as large businesses. Small companies with lower turnovers are also more vulnerable to hefty litigation costs should something slip through the cracks in terms of duty of care or risk.
4. Money Isn’t Everything. Saving money and increased efficiency are the obvious benefits to effective accident management. But having a plan in place can be just as relevant for regulatory, compliance and duty of care issues as it is for saving money and cutting downtime. Implementing such a plan ensures both the business and employees are safe and compliant whilst in the mobile workplace.
5. Training Day. The benefits of driver training are well documented. The practice of better preparing employees for life on the road has tangible benefits such as a safer and more risk aware workforce, lower repair and insurance bills. Effective accident management schemes can detect what’s going wrong, where and why, allowing you to tailor driver training.
6. Third Party Details. Staff need to ensure they capture accurate details of third parties involved in any accident. Communicate with staff clearly through the situation in the same was as they would if it were a personal vehicle. An accident management firm would take control of dealing with third parties.
7. A Healthy app-etite. Smart phones can be incredibly useful tools for employees in the event of an incident. There are now a wealth of apps available designed to walk the user through the post accident process. Many apps make use of the phones GPS system to locate the car and even take images of the scene. One to consider downloading.
8. Keep It Fresh. Make sure your practices and policies are as up to date as they can be and as relevant for the present. Annual reviews of the fleets programme in conjunction with the provider are worthwhile, as they could help catch any elements of risk.
9. Courtesy Call. Have a set of guidelines for courtesy cars and make employees aware of them. Typically you should put employees into a similar sized vehicle. This is more important on a van fleet ensuring the employee is happy to operate that size of van. Also giving employees free reign to upgrade courtesy vehices can incur additional costs so be clear on you policies.
10. Carrot and Stick. Use your accident management company to work out when drivers are not being honest about damage because it does happen. It may be a good idea to apportion part of the excess cost to repeat at fault offenders. Charging such individuals is usually a sufficient deterrent. To counter that you could offer a positive incentive scheme for employees who make it thought out the year without incident or have cut their fuel costs through safer and more economical driving.
For more tips on Fleet Accident Management call the GWA team on 01243 510 650.