A recent study commissioned by Driving for Better Business (DfBB), the government-backed Highways England programme to raise awareness of the business benefits that come from improved management of occupational road risk, has highlighted dangerous attitudes and behaviours of C-Suite (Executive Directors) and employees putting the safety of employees who drive for work at risk.
The DfBB survey of 1,006 employees and 255 C-Suite executives from the UK, conducted by Censuswide, has revealed disparity between what C-Suite execs claim and what employees say is happening when they are driving for work.
Company vehicle drivers | Legal obligations and checks | Grey Fleet
Findings show that despite three quarters of C-Suite execs claiming that they are ensuring employees are aware of their legal obligations regarding driving for work purposes, almost half (45 percent) of employees who were surveyed and who drive their personal car for work said they have not even been given a copy of their employer's driving for work policy.
The report found that business leaders are not performing checks on employees who drive their personal cars (often referred to / known as 'Grey Fleet') for work purposes.
Three in five leaders (60 percent) stated they were unsure if any or how many employees use their own car to drive for work purposes - nearly half of employees who use their personal car for work purposes (45 percent) said they have not been given a copy of their employer's driving for work policy.
90 percent of drivers surveyed said they used their personal cars for work journeys, with 75 percent doing so at least once a week, yet around a third of these drivers (33 percent) were not insured to do so, saying they do not have cover for business use on their vehicle insurance. Only a third (34 percent) said their employer had actually checked their driving licence.
Company vehicles | Driving and the usage of mobile phones
C-Suite behaviours around mobile phone usage are adversely impacting on employee well-being, the study revealed. Nearly a half of business leaders polled (49 percent) expect their employees to answer their phone at any time, including while driving for work.
Almost half of employees (45 percent) said that they experience stress when they receive a call from their boss while driving for work. One in six employees who drive for work (17 percent) said they have been involved in an incident when driving for work as a result of a phone call from a colleague. 1 in 20 C-Suite and 1 in 8 employees thought the hard shoulder was a safe place to take a phone call, despite it being illegal.
Employees mirror dangerous behaviours around mobile phone usage while driving. 61 percent of employees admitted they do not always (or only sometimes) find a safe place to make or receive a work call when driving for work with just over one in eight employees who drive for work (13 percent) thinking it safe to take a phone call while parked on the hard shoulder of a motorway.
Company vehicle | Maintenance checks
The survey found a poor approach to vehicle checks and maintenance by employees. Nearly three quarters of employees who drive for work (74 percent) said when they check their tyres, they simply take a quick glance to see that tyres look 'OK'.
Driving for Better Business free seven-step programme of action
Simon Turner, Campaign Manager, Driving for Better Business said;
"The report shows a disparity between what employers and employees are saying when driving for work. C-Suite leaders are failing to communicate and implement a robust driving for work policy to keep those who drive for work safe, particularly for those who use their personal cars ('Grey Fleet'). Leaders are failing to carry out basic due diligence checks such as ensuring that all employees have a driving licence or vehicle insurance.
"At the same time, the study highlights employees are putting themselves at risk while driving for work, not checking that vehicles are roadworthy and exhibit reckless behaviours when using their mobile phone.
"As a way of reducing occupational road risk and safeguarding employee wellbeing, a dual responsibility by C-Suite leadership and employees is needed. Leaders must implement a driving for work policy that enforces legal and ethical obligations on all employees that drive on work-related journeys. Regular checks need to be put in place to ensure that employees have read and understood the guidelines laid out in the driving for work policy. In doing so, the associated risk to road users and pedestrians is reduced.
"A good practice driving for work policy ensures that at a minimum, organisations are compliant with all relevant legislation and guidelines. Once implemented, these policies complement more general employee safety and wellness programmes as well as introduce efficiencies that reduce costs associated with employees that drive for work purposes."
Driving for Better Business promotes a free seven-step programme of action to reduce occupational road risk. Organisations that introduce the DfBB programme have experienced significant operational, financial and employee benefits. Download the report at.
Fleet vehicle management and vehicle sourcing advice from All Vehicle Contracts Limited | AVC
If you are a fleet manager or a company vehicle driver with any queries about best practice and fleet vehicle management, call one of our dedicated and experienced team on 01902 353933.
All Vehicle Contracts Limited are specialists in the area of fleet vehicle supply and understand the many challenges that are faced by business owners and drivers of company vehicles.
We can also look closely at the running costs associated with your fleet vehicles and advise you on the most efficient ways of saving money, as well as maximising efficiency and of course, keeping company car drivers - and other road users - safe.
All Vehicle Contracts Ltd Published: Jul 18 2019