Graham Hurdle blog: 5 February - Don't let inconsiderate driving damage your vehicles and your company's brand
05 February 2015
Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World
A leading charity is campaigning for local authorities to be handed greater powers to tackle the problem caused by drivers parking on pavements.
Guide Dogs for the Blind reports that 97% of blind or partially sighted people encounter problems with street obstructions, and 90% of those had experienced trouble with a pavement parked car.
When this happens, people who are blind and partially sighted may have to risk their lives by walking into the road just to get by, an issue that also impacts parents with prams, wheelchair users, older people and many others.
Yet parking on pavements is only one example of inconsiderate driving. Straddling 2 spaces in a car park, blocking access to drives or entrances, occupying reserved parking bays, or double-parking on busy roads all lead to increased tension and, potentially, vehicle damage.
Company car and van drivers must never forget that they are ambassadors for their organisation - something that is particularly relevant when in branded vehicles, and for companies reliant on their reputation and profile in a town or community.
They must also realise that by parking, or behaving, inconsiderately heightens the chances of damage to their vehicle. If you're parked across an access point, there's every chance that other vehicles are going to try and squeeze past. If your wheels are over the line of a parking bay, the next car is going to park so close that the likelihood of their door hitting yours is increased.
But what can fleet managers do? Perhaps start by analysing your minor vehicle damage reports and see how many knocks and scrapes were reported by drivers who claimed they came back to their vehicle and it had been caused while they were parked (not their fault at all!). As this probably sits under your insurance excess, calculate how much it has cost you.
The harsh reality is a lot of vehicle damage is avoidable, it doesn't just happen and the root cause is often that the driver parked inconsiderately! There's therefore a cost to this behaviour; not just in terms of repairs and admin time but also to your reputation and brand.
And, as highlighted by Guide Dogs, it could also cost someone their life!