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Bodies in RoadSafe-led DfBB’s Fleet Safety Benchmarking Project:

  • Freight Transport Association’s Van Excellence programme
  • Interactive Driving Systems, global provider of driver safety management solutions
  • RoSPA
  • TRL (Transport Research Laboratory)
  • Fleet Forum

STONE CHIPS, low-speed reversing collisions or high speed crashes. They are a problem and a worry for every business, large and small.

Having one-fifth of an SME’s five-car operation sidelined for a couple of days in the bodyshop, never mind the paperwork and phone calls, is something no manager wants.

Logging even the smallest incidents can reveal the tip of an iceberg – one company is targeting making reversing safer after low speed reversing damage was found to account for nearly two-thirds of its vehicles’ incidents.

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In the bigger picture, work-related road incidents are calculated to account for around a quarter of all crashes with more employees killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads while driving on behalf of their employer than in any other employment activity.

Just how you compare among fellow operators, and how you can counter the problem, is the aim of a free new online benchmarking tool to improve at-work road safety, cut operating costs and boost business efficiency.

It is being delivered as a contribution to the work of the Occupational Road Safety Alliance (ORSA) by the team behind the Driving for Better Business (DfBB) campaign with backing from the Department for Transport and in collaboration with a range of fleet-related organisations.

Looking forward by reflecting backwards is the priority of document storage specialist Iron Mountain, which operates an urban-based UK fleet of 220 commercial vehicles of which 60% are light vans but also includes articulated HGVs and is an advocate of benchmarking .

Iron Mountain records every single vehicle incident, including stone chips, and 60% relate to low speed reversing. Last year the company recorded an average incident rate of 0.74 per vehicle.

Rory Morgan, the company’s head of logistics support, Western Europe, has spearheaded its multi-award winning occupational road risk management initiative launched eight years ago and has seen the company become a DfBB champion.

Unless you see comparative data you cannot possible know what good looks like. Seeing where your fleet ranks against other operators provides targets to achieve and highlights where improvements can be made

Also chairman of the governance committee of the Freight Transport Association’s Van Excellence initiative, he explained: “Trend analysis is an important aspect of benchmarking. Our priority in 2016 is to reduce the number of low speed reversing incidents.”

“As a fleet manager unless you see comparative data you cannot possible know what good looks like. Seeing where your fleet ranks against other operators provides targets to achieve and highlights where improvements can be made.”

The new tool is a significant enhancement of Interactive Driving Systems’ Fleet Safety Gap Analysis, an online 10-question solution that allows fleets to benchmark their own responses against those of currently almost 1,400 participants providing an insight into the safety of an organisation’s vehicles and drivers and how they rank against others.

The free-to-use benchmarking tool, which will gather information on what processes are in place to manage work-related road safety from fleets of all types and sizes and measure their outcomes, is scheduled to be officially launched at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ (RoSPA) Road Safety Conference. It is being held on Wednesday, 2 March, 2016, at the Holiday Inn, Stratford-upon-Avon.

A wide range of organisations have collaborated in the DfBB’s Fleet Safety Benchmarking Project including the Freight Transport Association’s Van Excellence programme, global provider of driver safety management solutions Interactive Driving Systems, RoSPA and TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) as well as Fleet Forum, an international interagency association whose focus includes sharing concerns about road safety and fleet efficiency. Support has also come from the Australian National Road Safety Partnership Programme.

Not just a knock…

Adrian Walsh, director of RoadSafe which leads the government-backed DfBB, said: “Identifying good practice comparing it across organisations is enormously valuable and encourages often simple but innovative solutions to what may appear to be complex problems.”

He added: “Through benchmarking if you can see the categories where incidents happen – low speed reversing, car parks, at-fault, third party etc. – and compare your record with similar and different fleets then you have an idea of what best practice looks like and an action plan can be implemented.”

Tracey Fuller, customer engagement manager and road safety ambassador at vehicle leasing and fleet management company Arval, a long-time DfBB champion, has used Interactive Driving Systems’ benchmarking solution with customers.

“Fleets should not get hung up with benchmarking against like-for-like operations, we are all seeking to reduce risk, implement road safety measures, cut costs and implement safety measures that make the roads safer for everyone. However, there are clear benefits for like-for-like benchmarking if you can do it, and I would encourage networking and sharing of good practice across similar fleet operations.

“It is really important for businesses where they are trying to obtain buy-in from stakeholders if they can benchmark and then use that information as a platform to increase buy-in. Benchmarking gives fleet decision-makers a voice to use information gathered and formulate an action plan.”

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