Fleet managers must remind drivers of the increased dangers of winter driving, according to The Fuelcard People.
The company’s spokesman, Steve Clarke, has commented upon a joint publication from the Department of Transport and the National Office for Statistics, Modelling the impact of the weather on road casualty statistics.
He said, “Common sense dictates that road accidents are more likely in bad weather, but this research shows just how seriously fleets could be affected and it has important duty of care implications.”
Monthly road accident statistics evaluated between January 1991 and December 2014 revealed that slight injuries for motorists rose with higher rainfall for every month of the year. It also showed that above average rain, sleet and snow was accompanied by larger numbers of serious injuries during six months of the year. One anomaly, that fewer cyclists are killed during colder than average winter months, could be down to the fact that fewer people cycle when the weather is really cold.
Steve Clarke added: “This long and complex report has confirmed that colder winter weather and higher than average rainfall means more serious accidents.
“As winter approaches, fleet managers must accept not just that their drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents, but that the consequences are also likely to be more serious.”
He concluded: “This increases the duty of care liability on fleet managers. If a post-accident investigation shows that a driver has not been advised of the need for greater care during winter, it could be argued that their manager has neglected duty of care obligations.”