Government estimates show that more than 40 million licensed vehicles use UK roads daily. With so many vehicles on the roads, there are bound to be drivers who trespass traffic rules by speeding, driving aggressively, tailgating, skipping traffic lights, or overtaking illegally.
One of the main transgressions seen on UK roads is speeding, with up to 6,000 speeding fines issued by traffic authorities across Britain daily.
Not only are many private motorists caught speeding, but many employees driving a company vehicle find themselves guilty of this offence too. Not many people know that speeding, while driving a company car, holds many negative consequences.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the ramifications of speeding in company cars, discussing how business owners and fleet managers can address and prevent speeding in their company vehicles.
The Risks of Employee Speeding
Speeding — driving a vehicle at high speed, over the speed limit — is a widespread problem across the UK. It is one of the main contributors to road accidents and, in 2022 alone, led to 1,695 pedestrian and driver fatalities.
An employee speeding in a company vehicle poses many risks: it decreases road safety, holds negative financial consequences for the business, and can also impact an employee’s reputation.
An employee speeding in a company car contributes to the high number of road accidents occurring on our roads. Not only does speeding put other road users at risk, but it can also lead to injuries, road deaths, and increased liability to both the company and the employee.
Higher Fuel Consumption
Speeding also leads to increased fuel consumption, as it causes the vehicle to use more fuel than normal. A higher fuel bill reduces company profits and increases CO2 emissions, which leads to a higher carbon footprint.
Driving at higher speeds also increases the wear and tear of a vehicle. The strain on the vehicle’s engine, brakes, and tyres is drastically increased by speeding, leading to an increase in maintenance costs. Should the company car be involved in an accident due to speeding, this would also translate into higher repair and replacement costs.
Another negative consequence of speeding is that employees open themselves and the business up to legal problems. If an employee is caught speeding on a speed camera they can be issued with speeding fines. The business can also attract traffic penalty points and higher insurance premiums for their vehicles.
If a company car is involved in an accident (caused by speeding) the employee and your business can be held liable for damages and other legal claims (such as corporate manslaughter). Additionally, a company car damaged in an accident can impact productivity, as it decreases vehicle availability which can have a knock-on effect on operational efficiency and profitability.
The employee, if found guilty of speeding offences, can also lose their driving privileges.
Damage to Employer Reputation
An employee caught speeding in a company vehicle can also tarnish the business’s reputation. A speeding company car – weaving through traffic, speeding and driving recklessly, can cause current and potential clients to lose trust in your business.
In today’s social media-driven world, videos and images of a speeding vehicle — branded with your company logo — can easily end up in the public domain. This can lead to the public questioning your business’s commitment to road safety.
For this reason, business owners and fleet managers should always ensure that their fleet vehicles are properly driven to safeguard the company’s reputation.
Strategies for Addressing Speeding Behaviour
There are several strategies companies can employ to help prevent and deter speeding in a company car, including:
Driver Training Programmes
Organisations need to take proactive measures to ensure their fleet vehicles are driven safely.
One of the most important steps fleet managers can take in this regard is to implement driver training programmes. Not only should these programmes instil the rules of the road in employees, but they should also focus on alerting employees to the dangers of speeding.
Company car drivers should also be informed of the consequences they will face when caught speeding.
It is advised that these programmes be made mandatory so that all employees are on the same page about road safety, the company’s stance on responsible driving and road safety culture.
Speed and Behaviour Monitoring Systems
Another great aid companies can use to avoid speeding is to monitor driver behaviour.
Using a modern telematics system, a company can easily monitor the driving habits of company car drivers. These systems — using dash cams and real-time speed tracking — can immediately alert fleet managers when a vehicle is exceeding the speed limit and a driver is trespassing other traffic rules.
Using the speed data and recorded video, fleet managers can immediately address and discipline drivers when they commit a speeding offence.
Fleet managers can use Crystal Ball’s driver behaviour monitoring solution to address and prevent speeding. The software helps calculate driver scores using braking, speeding, cornering, and acceleration data, while also providing valuable insights into an employee’s on-road behaviour.
Using these driver scores, businesses can identify which employees need to adjust and improve their driving. Fleet managers can also use this data to create driver league tables to identify the fleet’s best and worst-performing drivers. Driver league tables can serve as great tools to introduce driver incentive programmes, rewarding company car drivers for good road behaviour.
Knowing your employees’ driving scores can also help fleet managers reduce fuel and vehicle maintenance costs and insurance premiums.
Promote a Safety Culture
Fostering a culture of road safety is another effective strategy to prevent speeding. A safety-first company culture ensures that the employer shares responsibility for good driving behaviour and that fleet vehicles are driven safely.
It also motivates drivers to prioritise safety and stick to the speed limit, therefore, avoiding speeding offences.
Companies should consistently reinforce safe driving habits, reward employees for good on-road behaviour and always inform drivers of the consequences of speeding and reckless driving.
Speeding is one of the biggest contributors to the UK’s high road accident and fatality statistics.
If an employee is caught speeding, it can negatively impact both the driver and your company, while also leading to an increase in fuel consumption and higher maintenance and repair costs.
To minimise and prevent speeding, fleet managers can make use of a range of strategies, including implementing driver training programmes and promoting a culture of safe driving.
To further boost road safety and improve driving behaviour, contact us to learn more about our range of vehicle tracking and driver behaviour monitoring solutions. Using the latest, cutting-edge vehicle tracking technology, we can help you keep your employees safe, reduce your legal liability and reduce costs.