Company owners and transport managers send drivers out with a reasonable expectation that those individuals have a fundamental understanding of safety issues. However, when it comes to something as common as the windscreen, such assumptions may not be warranted. According to a recently released study from Autoglass, there is a lot of driver ignorance where windscreens are concerned.
Autoglass national sales manager Jeremy Rochfort told Fleet News UK that his company carried out crash tests involving cars with poorly fitted windscreens travelling at 30 mph. The damage is a lot more severe than most people believe, yet drivers apparently do not know. According to the company's 1,000-driver survey:
- 53% were unaware that an incorrectly fitted windscreen reduces crush resistance in a roll-over
- 71% were unaware that an improperly installed windscreen could affect airbag deployment
- most did not know that the windscreen accounts for up to 30% of a car's structural integrity; and
- 42% do not know that driving with a cracked windscreen could be considered an offence.
The most troubling statistic from the survey showed that 10% of UK drivers do not know that driving without insurance is illegal. As a company owner with vehicles on the road, that statistic should be troubling to you. If 10% do not know that driving without insurance is illegal, what percentage of drivers do know but drive without insurance anyway? Should a company vehicle be involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, it could cost you dearly.
If nothing else, the Autoglass survey demonstrates that today's drivers are not keeping up with the evolution of motoring. There is a lot more glass in today's cars than there ever has been, yet drivers are unaware of the risks associated with cracked or poorly fitted windscreens. This likely means that even the best company drivers are probably ignorant about other safety issues as well. Regular training of company drivers is essential in light of the statistics.
Licence Checking a Safety Issue
Among all the safety issues that you may have to deal with for your business, do not forget the issue of checking the licences of your drivers. You undoubtedly check licences of all new hires prior to bringing them on board, but are you regularly checking in the months and years that follow? If not, you should be.
Drivers are not necessarily upfront about accidents and violations with their employers, especially if they believe their jobs might be in jeopardy. Nevertheless, you cannot afford to have an unqualified or disqualified driver operating a company vehicle. You need to know exactly what the status of each of your drivers is at all times. That is where regular licence checks come into play.
Fleet Licence Check specialises in checking licences and handling claims. We currently check about 20,000 licences annually, returning the results directly to our customers. We conduct checks with direct access to up-to-date government databases for the most accurate results. Contact us to learn more about our services.
1. Fleet News UK – http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/fleet-industry-news/2015/03/30/drivers-unaware-of-dangers-of-driving-with-cracked-windscreen