Risk management of cars is being “given much lower priority” than vans across a wide range of fleets, says management software specialist FleetCheck.
The reasons, explained Peter Golding, managing director, were that vans tended to be viewed more as working tools that were often treated roughly by their users, while cars were seen more as personal transport that would be cared for by drivers.
“This is something that we see time and again, especially in SMEs. Managers view vans as purely working vehicles and, for that reason, automatically apply Health and Safety thinking to them, realising that their safety is a corporate liability.
“However, they perceive cars much more as personal transportation and simply do not place them in the same mental space. It is almost as though they think that the responsibility for safety lies with the driver.
“Clearly, that thinking is wrong. All fleet safety responsibility is the same, regardless of vehicle type.”
Peter added that he was often asked detailed questions about the legal situation regarding risk management of LCVs – without operators realising the same legislation applied to cars.
“Time and again, we’ll be asked, for example, about legal responsibilities when it comes to servicing and maintenance of LCVs. We’ll explain the situation and then say, ‘You do know that the same applies to your cars?’ and often receive a blank look in return.
“For this reason, we feel confident in saying that, across a wide range of fleets but especially in the SME area, cars are often being given much lower risk management priority.”