Accident rates: The cost of at-work crashes

Fleet managers have been warned about the extra knock-on costs that come when a van or a specialist converted vehicle is involved in an accident.

WHAT TO DO IN THE CASE OF A CRASH

From Nextbase director Richard Browning

Richard Browning Nextbase

PROACTIVE PROTECTION
While there are a variety of reasons to have a dashcam installed in a vehicle, the main one is for drivers to have the means of protecting themselves in the event of an incident. If an accident happens that is not their fault, but still results in a split liability/fault claim, then the outcome could be extremely severe indeed. The driver could have their livelihood put at risk if they are not able to get back out onto the road.

PEOPLE FIRST
First and foremost, check that no one has been injured in the incident. If you are unsure in any way, contact the emergency services, especially if the accident is holding up traffic or vehicles are excessively damaged and/or immobilised. In short, unless you’re certain that all parties concerned are completely unharmed and that the collision was a minor one, you should contact the relevant authorities right away.

CONTACT YOUR FLEET MANAGER
Do not fret. The reason that they have installed a dashcam in your vehicle is because they are aware that these things happen. Whether you were at fault or not, the camera is there to help through the subsequent process. If you are innocent, the footage will prove it. If you did unintentionally cause the incident, there is still the insurance claim processing time to consider. Insurers can resolve claims with dashcam footage up to 50% quicker, meaning that you can be put back to work much sooner

SEND OVER THE FOOTAGE
Some dashcams come with an in-built wifi capability, which allows footage to be transferred directly to an app. It can then be shared directly with your manager, or even an insurer or the police. The app can therefore act as your company’s mobile storage for footage, ensuring proof of liability in the event of an incident that could have ramifications for the business.

LASTLY, RETURN TO BASE
If possible, but only if your vehicle is still safe to travel in, and once any authorities have discharged you and/or gathered all of the statements they need, head back to the office to debrief your managers.

Any crash is going to take a toll, in human, insurance and productivity terms, but one that involves a vehicle that is at the heart of a company’s business is going to hit harder.

“If it is just a panel van involved, then a hire unit can probably be easily sourced but the more specialised your vehicle, the greater the loss is likely to be” says Peter Golding, managing director of FleetCheck. “At the lower end of this spectrum is a van with racking or fitments that is awkward to replace but, at the other extreme, you could be dealing with the unavailability of specialist items that are impossible to replicate in the short term but are necessary for the operation of your company.”

There are other costs to consider, too with time an element that is often underestimated. “In the worst-case scenario, where there has been an injury to a driver or pedestrian, then you will be dealing not only with the human cost but also the potential for prosecution, something which could leave you open to legal costs and fines that run well into six figures.”

 

CRASHES ADD UP

The Association of British Insurers has called on Government to help curb the “excessive costs” that contribute to these high insurance figures.

Rob Cummings, the ABI’s assistant director, head of motor and liability, said: “Putting a lid on excessive costs, which end up being paid for by motorists, remains a priority for insurers. This makes it all the more important for the Government to play its part, by pushing ahead with its reforms to personal injury compensation without further delay.”

£2,936

The average motor insurance claim in 2017 was the highest on record

 

320,000

The number of personal injury claims settled in 2017

 

£10,816

The average personal injury claim in Q4 of 2017 – the highest since Q2 2016

 

£481

The average motor insurance premium in 2017 – a record high and a rise of 9% over 2016