Keoghs Insight


Nerys Parry

Nerys Parry


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6 steps to help reduce your fleet's accident frequency

On Track - May 2019

Last December the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) released statistics* which revealed personal injury (PI) claims had fallen to their lowest level in nearly seven years. These figures showed a 20% decrease in 2018 against the prior year, with the MoJ suggesting this was in part down to reforms introduced in recent years, and also more recently as a consequence of the increase in travel claims arising from gastric illness!

So why are we not seeing a comparable reduction in accident frequency across major fleet programmes?

A Keoghs review of fleet programmes suggests exposure to personal injury ranges from 7% to 12% for all types of fleets, from multi-drop and home delivery through to large HGV and passenger transport including taxis.

Although PI claims expose businesses to higher risk and cost by some margin, the bulk of corporate fleet costs and insurance provisions are tied up in accidents involving bent metal only and damage to property. The majority of these originate from avoidable manoeuvring incidents and, for the third year running, our top three list of causes is:

  • Hit Building /Object
  • Hit Parked Vehicle
  • Reversing accident

This pattern is repeated in over 90% of our Commercial Vehicle fleet work.

The devil’s in the detail

A recent case study for a large Commercial Vehicle fleet illustrates the lock up in reserves and where targeted risk management techniques can improve this position.

This illustration relates to a mixed CV multi-drop fleet over a three year period and demonstrates the relative cost of incidents involving injury vs bent metal and property damage only.

Cost containment on these incident types has been heavily assisted over the past decade through the introduction of initiatives like Bump Cards and third party intervention. Enabling third party capture and deployment to managed repair and hire networks has without question reduced fleet exposure by a significant level.

Our outputs show that by continually refining the process and increasing the opportunity for success we’ve improved our results year on year and against inflation. Considering where the risk lies, developing that process to include a more sophisticated property repair solution is now more important than ever.


Don’t just deal with the claim, avoid it

From our work with a large array of fleet, transport and insurance managers, we know that the key metrics for measuring motor fleet risk are cost and frequency. Whilst cost is controlled post-accident, meaning it is often out of your hands, frequency reduction is something your business can influence via a variety of different functions, from driver training, insurance, HR, H&S and route planning, through to transport, fleet management and others.

By analysing with a fresh pair of eyes, we have drawn up a checklist complete with pertinent questions to help you reduce your fleet’s accident frequency.

Steps to Reduce Accident Frequency:

1. Identify causes of avoidable accident

Is there a pattern?

2. Improve driver awareness through training

Do your drivers understand the cost to the business?
Does the business have a consistent approach to tackling repeat offenders and re-training?

3. Ensure in-cab vehicle technology is utilised

Is it available?

Does it work?

Is it properly used?

Is there a business owner?

Can you bring legacy systems together to drive improvement?

4. Route and Fleet Optimisation

Can you take a different approach or use a smaller vehicle on high risk routes?

5. Encourage and incentivise stakeholders, transport managers and fleet managers to devise initiatives that improve performance

6. Monitor performance and create a league table to encourage the right behaviours within the group. Acknowledge good performance to target continual improvement.

Whether you approach these steps collectively or individually, all are tried and tested ways of managing fleet risk. However if you’re unsure of the best way to proceed, speak to the Keoghs team and let us help identify the best route your fleet can take to minimise costly accidents.