SMEs Urged to Address Road Rage
The RAC is urging small firms to provide better training for fleet drivers in light of a rise in aggressive driving.
Road rage and dangerous driving committed by employees can not only damage company reputation – in particular those driving vehicles featuring company signage, the RAC warns – but changes to corporate manslaughter legislation mean employers are liable for death and serious injury caused by their employees during working hours.
A spokesperson for the RAC said:
“Training is very important and begins at the very start of the job process – especially if driving is going to be part of that job. It’s important to provide information and training on road rage to encourage drivers to avoid [things like] tailgating, and engaging with other drivers who are experiencing road rage. Regular communications with drivers in the fleet is important, as is addressing their concerns.”
“This kind of bad publicity can have a bigger impact on SMEs than on larger organisations – so employers should be especially thorough when checking that their drivers are competent, have valid licences and insurance and have not been banned in the past. It is a good idea to give them a handbook and to nominate a person to monitor the upkeep and use of business vehicles”.
“You need to be especially wary of the local media – small business drivers tend to operate locally, so if they are involved in an incident and they get taken to court, the local newspaper is likely to be there to report on the meaty story.”
In the cases of businesses with limited training resources, many insurers offer risk management advice.
“Some insurers offer risk management services and offer training courses and advice on this. With the changes in legislation on corporate manslaughter, employers are liable for employees’ actions and have a duty of care [to provide the right training],”
In its 20th annual Report on Motoring, the RAC found that one in three business car drivers has been a victim of driving behaviour that has left them feeling physically threatened. However, 55 per cent admit to shouting, swearing and making rude gestures at other motorists themselves.
Some 21 per cent of respondents to the survey said they now find driving less pleasurable than ten years ago. The survey also found that 79 per cent of drivers fail to signal their intentions clearly; 75 per cent drive too close to the car in front; 73 per cent use their mobile phones while driving; 70 per cent don’t pull over for other cars to overtake on motorways; and 64 per cent drive too slowly for the road conditions.
The RAC is also calling for better training to encourage improved driver behaviour among other measures such as lowering the drink drive limit and the introduction of more traffic police to act as a deterrent against road rage incidents.