As I look through my living room window in the aftermath of a ‘Tornado’ hitting our village, I begin to assess the costs of this natural disaster and how it will affect the local community as a whole. Insurance companies telephone lines will be ‘red hot’ today.
You see, unfortunate events like this affect us all. Personally, we came away relatively unscathed with regards to actual damage, however, with insurance claims being submitted by those directly affected over the next few days, the costs of insurance premiums in our postcode will rise.
I can accept this, as there was nothing anyone could have done. It was no one’s fault, we all bore witness to what this storm threw down at us. It was a natural phenomenon. You try taking Mother Nature to court to sue for damages. You can’t. It’s just one of those things.
Estimated wind speeds last night were around 72mph. I’ve checked the internet and found that on the Beaufort scale which rates ranks wind speeds from scale 1-12, we were hit hard.
There was no warning system to tell us otherwise. We couldn’t have slowed the wind down to be less destructive, therefore resulting in less or no damage and ultimately no insurance claims and premium hikes!
Where am I going with this story you might wonder and what relevance does this have to the transport industry? I’ll tell you.
I work in the world of vehicle CCTV and Telematics and recently visited a prospect who had enquired about such systems. They’d recently been sent their new annual insurance premium which had gone up an incredible £60,000 across their fleet of twenty passenger service vehicles!
When I questioned why the huge rise, they told me that one of their vehicles was written off last year after it braked hard, skidded off the road and veered off into a ditch. Fortunately, no one else was onboard the vehicle which was on its way back to the depot and the driver was lucky to have walked away with minor injuries.
After a short investigation, the incident was put down to poor driver behaviour. The driver used their mobile phone whilst speeding. The driver got fired! Could this have been prevented? Yes.
On another visit last year, this time to a haulage firm, they were faced with a similar hike in their insurance premiums due to one of their vehicles being involved in an RTA. This turned out to be a crash for cash incident with five occupants of the car involved (three of these were ‘ghost riders’ as the truck driver said there were only two passengers in the vehicle at the time). Could this have been prevented? Maybe, if you had a reliable witness.
There were 180,000 incidents involving cash for crash scams in the UK between June 2015-16.
I hear these stories all the time. But what can be done to eradicate poor driver behaviour? How can we prove who was at fault? How can we prevent drivers speeding? How can we stop insurance premiums rising against us when we’re not in the wrong? What steps can we take to stop this?
FORS can help towards safety on the roads
The aim of FORS is simple. One comprehensive scheme that encompasses all aspects of safety, fuel efficiency, economical operations and vehicle emissions. FORS is a voluntary scheme that helps improve operators’ performance in each of these areas. And it’s the safety part of the scheme we’ll concentrate on here.
The need to install additional safety equipment such as CCTV and Telematics on your vehicles is growing. For example, to meet Transport for London (TFL) requirements and to be eligible for business deals within London, as well as infrastructure plans such as Cross Rail, you must fulfil the requirements of the Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS). And having vehicle CCTV and using Telematics systems really does help towards aspects of safety.
For vehicle operators, it offers peace of mind that they are meeting their legislative requirements. Banded as Gold, Silver and Bronze accreditations, each one carries its own merits. It is an excellent way to prove to existing and potential clients your credentials as a high performing operator who adheres to high quality standards.
Bronze is entry level accreditation but gaining Silver endorsement, shows you’re dramatically improving the overall safety of operator’s fleet vehicles which in turn ensures compliance with the Standard for construction logistics
What kind of Technology can help?
Vehicle CCTV is paramount in today’s battle against fraudulent accident claims and has ultimately improved the overall claims experience in the industry. What’s more, with GPS tracking, you’re able to view footage in sync with a map showing the location and speed of the vehicle.
A major benefit of having vehicle CCTV is that it improves vehicle safety and security and encourages best practice amongst drivers.
Telematics devices are generally systems that are installed in your vehicle that records information about your driving habits, such as the number of miles you drive, your speed, and how quickly you brake. Studies have shown that a 5% decrease in average speed leads to approximately a 10% decrease in injury and 20% decrease in fatal crashes (2014, U.S Dept of Transportation).
Based on a telematics data base research in the UK, an incredible 92% of speeding incidences can be avoided by an installed telematics system.
These systems can quite often be integrated into a vehicle CCTV device, so gives you the best of both worlds.
Roads are getting more congested, in fact Motor vehicle traffic in Great Britain increased by 2.3% in the year ending June 2015 from the previous year. The provisional figure of 314.6 billion vehicle miles is the highest rolling annual total ever! (National statistics).
We need all the help we can get out there and the aforementioned systems will not only help your drivers be safer on the roads and curtail the fraudulent accident claims but will protect and enhance your reputation.
So unlike the Tornado tale mentioned earlier, which was unavoidable, WE can put at stop to poor driver behaviour and fraudulent accident claims by installing such systems mentioned above. Can you afford to be without it?