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Lex: careless staff cost fleets £18.6m

Date: 11 November 2013   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Careless driving by employees was responsible for 40% of all accidents involving company vehicles last year according to leasing giant Lex Autolease.

Data gleaned from the firm's 120,000-strong accident management fleet showed that of 43,293 accidents involving company car drivers in 2012, the drivers were at fault in 18,000 cases.

Almost one in five of those were caused by the driver hitting a stationary object such as "a bridge, a building or a wall" and 22% were collisions with third-party vehicles.

Lex said the average total cost of each such claim was £1033 and its accident management clients paid out more than £18.6m due to careless employees behind the wheel.

Richard Harper, head of accident services at Lex, said: "Although the average cost of each accident is just over £1000, the true cost to businesses is significantly higher.

"Following an accident a company vehicle can be off the road for more than a week, causing immeasurable disruption and inconvenience.

"The fact that company drivers were responsible for 40% of accidents last year suggests that businesses need to do more to raise standards and eradicate poor driving behaviour.

"The need to address this problem is more acute at this time of year following the end of British Summer Time.

"The starting point for businesses is to understand why accidents occur. Once they have this information they can take steps to reduce collisions such as driver training programmes, assessing time and work pressures on their drivers and eliminating unnecessary journeys."