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Sam Sterry's blog: Summer travel challenges firms might be missing

Date: 02 August 2017

The summer months bring a number of significant challenges for fleet managers.

Whilst snow and ice are the safety worries over the autumn and winter months, summer brings a different set of challenges, from hayfever and coping with the glare of strong sun to keeping cool on hot days, all of which can impair performance behind the wheel. Fleet managers looking to manage the risk and the potential impact on their budget can harness the benefits of vehicle hire to give them valuable insight.

When it comes to summer safety, first and foremost companies need to safeguard the health and wellbeing of their drivers. Some people suffer during a heatwave, making them drowsy, especially if they find it hard to sleep during muggy nights. Employers therefore need to make sure that their drivers stay hydrated and take breaks to counter the effects of the heat.

Hayfever is also a major hidden hazard for employers. Not only can raised pollen levels cause sneezing and itchy eyes, but some medications could put drivers at risk of drug driving and a criminal record.  Fleet managers should, therefore, ensure employees driving for work understand the risks and feel they have the opportunity to raise any concerns about their ability to drive, depending on the pollen count,

The summer months also present challenges in terms of road conditions, from melting tarmac to high levels of dust and stones that can chip windscreens.  And high temperatures can have an impact on tyre pressure. Plus sitting in traffic as the mercury rises could result in engines overheating.

For fleet managers reliant on grey fleet - vehicles owned by employees - the ability to check on vehicle condition and monitor servicing and maintenance is limited.  A good alternative is car hire - whether for just a few hours or over several days.  And a grey fleet calculator can help work out the best form of transport for every journey, encompassing everything from public transport to car hire and even chauffeur drive.

Plus, an added benefit of car hire is the intelligence that can be provided about each journey.  By analysing driving data, fleet managers can gain insight into their own operations and employees, from driver behaviour to journey times and emissions, boosting efficiency and reducing risk - not just for the Summer but all year round.



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