Graham Hurdle blog: 6 January 2015 - Put a stop to needless vehicle damage in 2015
06 January 2015
Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World
An AA study has revealed that half of motorists have had their cars damaged in car parks in the past year.
The new AA-Populus study among 19,887 AA members found that 51% have suffered some damage to their car in a car park. The majority of claims are collisions with other vehicles or with inanimate objects such as bollards, lamp posts or trolley shelters. Other claims include damage caused by rogue shopping trolleys, vandalism and break-ins and thefts from cars.
The frustrating thing about this is that most, if not all, of these claims are completely avoidable.
Fleet managers constantly bemoan the level of claims from manoeuvring or parking, and whilst the damage can be minor it almost always sits below the insurance excess and becomes a direct cost to the business, not to mention the loathsome administration time it soaks up plus other costs such as car hire, time off road etc.
But what can we do to stop it? Is it happening simply due to careless driving and a lack of concentration? Is it a cultural issue that drivers don't care about company provided vehicles? Or are we a nation of poor parkers?
The truth is, it's a combination of all of these. Its how you tackle it that's the important issue because if you can eliminate car park damage you're onto a winner when it comes to reducing your fleet costs.
The first step, in my mind, is raising the profile of the problem across your fleet drivers. Launching a campaign to highlight the cost to the business and making it culturally unacceptable to cause damage to your company vehicle.
Education should then follow, and at E-Training World our car parking and manoeuving driver training module is one of our most popular.
Driver discipline comes next for those who, irrespective of raising profile and educating drivers, seem to continue to have incidents. In my mind, every driver should be interviewed after any form of incident to fully establish its cause. No damage should be treated lightly.
Finally comes reporting. Show everyone the stats and costs. Make it a shared problem if the figures are going up, and congratulate everyone if the numbers are going down.
The fact is, you cannot leave this issue unattended - otherwise you could be counting the costs at the end of 2015 regretting not taking action sooner.