A small person looking through, rather than over, the steering wheel of a typical big business saloon can’t see so well. A big person squeezed into a small van with insufficient legroom will not enjoy long journeys; neither will the driver whose spine curves in a different area to the seat of his company car.
These are all examples of driver/vehicle mismatches that increase the risk of collisions. There’s nothing like a painful back or an aching neck to distract a driver from the road ahead. About 95 per cent of all collisions are attributable to human errors, the most common being losing concentration. Discomfort, frustration, anger are all emotions that take a driver’s focus from the more important issues ahead.
When it comes to vehicle choice, why do we prize the ‘badge’, the options and the colour over the user-friendliness of the vehicle? The fastest vehicle on the road can only travel at the speed of today’s traffic jam; surely a good test drive should consider how much pain you might feel in a four-hour queue rather than the quality of the sound system.
More vehicle providers are willing to give a serious buyer a 24-hour or 48-hour test drive and more companies and drivers should be asking for one. Hire a vehicle for a week and drive 1,000 miles before choosing your company car.
Legislation expects the employer to ensure the safety, health and well-being of employees so we all need to start thinking along these lines. Legislators understood the importance of a comfortable and happy workforce in drafting the laws so these requirements need to drive our choices.
You can now assess your fleet risk free-of-charge with our quick and easy to use online Fleet Audit which provides guidance on the management of employees who drive on company business, and the vehicles they drive. It covers all aspects of fleet risk management and may include areas of risk you haven’t considered.
For free access to the Fleet Audit click here.