Fewer crashes helping to lower commercial motor insurance

Perhaps the nightmare scenario for a fleet manager: they get a call telling them one of their drivers has been in a road accident. Not only is there the immediate and most pressing concern of the health and wellbeing of the driver, but even if they are uninjured, there's the matter of making an insurance claim.

Commercial motor insurance can be costly, and any excuse for your premiums to rise should be treated with the utmost caution. There is both a moral and financial duty of a fleet manager to help reduce crashes, so improving health and safety should always be high on their priority list.

According to a recent report from National Transport Insurance (NTI), there is good news in this regard. The number of crashes for heavy commercial vehicles has fallen by a third in recent times.

Author of the report Owen Driscoll explained that safety improvements both on the road and in the minds of drivers have contributed to this excellent news.

"In 2015, we have safer vehicles, safer speeds, safer roads and generally more responsible and safer behaviour," Mr Driscoll explained.

"Nonetheless, heavy vehicle crash accidents continue to occur, albeit with the number of people killed in Australia from crashes involving heavy vehicles over the past decade falling significantly."

Fatigue and speed still a risk

However, there is still work to be done to lower these statistics further. The report highlighted that certain concerns are still proving risky and causing crashes nationwide.

Of these, speeding is one of the most common. It may be tempting for a driver on a seemingly clear stretch road to put their foot down and make it to their destination quicker. However, 27 per cent of all crashes in the survey were the result of speed.

Another common risk is fatigue. According to the report, crashes as the result of driver tiredness are now at their highest point since 2007. Fleet drivers in Western Australia were the most at risk, with 30 per cent of all crashes in the Golden State down to drowsiness.

This may not be a new threat, but the latest findings certainly restate the importance of managing fleet driver fatigue as much as possible.

SMEs under the microscope

While improving driver safety is no doubt a concern for all fleet managers, it is those in charge of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that were the most at risk, the research suggests.

Larger fleets with more than 15 vehicles made up 62 per cent of all NTI clients, though only contributed to half of the insurance claims. Meanwhile, owner-operators and smaller fleets were more likely to make a claim on their commercial motor insurance.

No matter the size of your fleet, fleet management software allows for careful monitoring and reporting, helping you track and keep an eye on your company's day-to-day running. The low cost of service allows businesses of any size to make a bigger commitment to health and safety without busting the budget.

To learn more, contact Smartfleet today.