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Kwik-Fit Fleet Survey Shows Neglect

(Clacton, U.K./Tyres & Accessories) A survey of fleet decision makers and company car drivers, carried out by Kwik-Fit Fleet, has revealed a lack of basic maintenance among car drivers.

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The survey questioned 183 company car drivers nationwide and found that one third checked their tyre pressures and tread depths only quarterly, while 21% never undertook checks. Another 45% checked tread and pressures monthly.

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Some 22% never checked oil and water levels, 34% checked these quarterly, while 44% checked them monthly. Almost half the drivers (49%) admitted that they had never read their company car’s driver’s manual.

Nigel Davies, U.K. fleet sales director of Kwik-Fit Fleet, said: "Health and safety has consistently featured as the number one fleet industry issue in recent years, yet our survey shows that in terms of routine vehicle maintenance, basic checks are being ignored by many drivers.

"Carrying out checks, at least monthly, on tyres and fluid levels as well as lights and windscreen wipers should be standard procedures for all drivers. As far as health and safety regulations are concerned the company car is defined as a place of work, so following best practice advice is essential."

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As an example, poor tread on a tyre could be the cause of an accident and an increasing focus on the causes of at-work accidents is likely to mean tyre wear becomes an even greater issue during police and health and safety investigations. Meanwhile, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency can be called in to examine whether a vehicle defect may have contributed to an incident and, often in tandem with the police, carry out spot checks on vehicle roadworthiness.

The Kwik-Fit Fleet survey also found that 61% of drivers are not given any reminder by their fleet manager, leasing company or fleet management provider when their car is due for a service. Seven per cent admitted to using a hand-held mobile when driving, although 72% had been told by their company that only a hands-free mobile was legal.

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Some 73% said that they had received no driver training since passing their driving test and 53% said that their employer checked their driving licence annually. However, 29% said that their driving licence was never checked, despite the fact that risk management best practice recommendation is to check all licences initially, then check those drivers with 0-3 points annually, six-monthly for those with 4-6 points and quarterly for those with 7-12 points.

Among those surveyed, 48% had points on their licenses, and the majority of those surveyed (63%) said that the proliferation of road safety cameras had influenced their driving style. Presumably the 37% who said that their driving style had not changed either stuck to the speed limits or were amongst the group with points on their licence. The attitude of drivers towards these cameras was fairly evenly split, with 56% saying that they had contributed towards a reduction in accident rates, while 52% believed that the cameras were designed to generate revenue rather than improve safety.

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