Graham Hurdle's blog: 18 April 2013 - Are car parks more costly than A-roads?
18 April 2013
Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World
I read a survey about car parking habits, which revealed that drivers of small family cars and superminis are the absolute worst at parking by straddling white lines, sticking out of bays or sitting askew.
Drivers behind the wheels of large family estates, MPVs and 4x4s are among the best performers according to online company www.StressFreeAirportParking.com.
They go on to reveal that drivers of sizeable off-roaders are among the best, with Audi drivers highlighted as the worst by brand. Vauxhall Vectra drivers are the worst at parking by individual model, with Ford transits close behind.
The results come from a study of more than 8000 cars analysed during February this year and make fascinating reading.
More importantly it highlights how poor many drivers are at manoeuvring and parking their cars leading to the types of small, but expensive knocks, scratches and scrapes bemoaned my many fleet departments.
In the fleet sector, we talk a great deal about speed, about using mobile phones while driving, and about the dangers of tailgating, overtaking, lack of observation and poor hazard perception.
Yet car parks are an area that most fleet managers will tell you cause them most aggro and expense.
So, how do companies stop small and avoidable incidents costing them so dearly?
One tough measure would be to charge drivers the cost of repair, or at least a contribution towards the excess, for any vehicle damage caused at slow speed or when reversing.
Another would be to penalise any driver who hits a fixed or stationery object.
In both scenarios, it's mainly down to a lack of concentration, poor observation and general negligence. It's also a cultural problem in many companies that accidents like this aren't treated seriously enough.
My advice to fleet operators is to get tough on the smaller accidents and this will start a process of improving driving standards overall.