The hidden costs of road accidents for your fleet

Posted 21 Oct 2022

Looking at an accident objectively

If an accident occurs for a fleet driver, there are obvious costs that spring to mind such as: 

  • Repairs  

However, there are costs that aren’t as apparent, that can hide the true cost of an accident. In money terms the International Loss Control Institute estimates that for every £1 an insurer pays out, the uninsured losses can total as much as between £8 and £53. With the average cost for an accident costing between $16,000 and $75,000, and skyrocketing if a fatality occurs, these costs are almost twice that of the average workplace injury. 

Identifying the hidden costs:

Damaged relationships & bad publicity: It is important to notify any customers whose cargo is held in a vehicle involved in an accident at the earliest convenience. The sooner they know the sooner they can make accommodations. If left too long, the customer may be caught in a situation that affects their own business, damaging the relationship and potentially resulting in bad publicity.   

Employee shortages: From minor to major injury, the driver involved in the accident will likely need to take time off. The disruption caused to fleet operations by unplanned absence may be further exacerbated by driver shortages. This will put stresses on remaining drivers, and the ability to meet customer expectations.

Admin overload: When an accident occurs the amount of administrative work is significant. This may include:

  • Legal paperwork
  • Co-ordinating a corporate response / crisis management 
  • Redeploying staff  
  • Reworking routes / schedules 
  • Client relationship management  

Employee retention: Keeping drivers safe and motivated is important, estimates suggest it costs on average  $8,000 per driver that a company needs to replace.

Decreased vehicle value: An average vehicle loses roughly $500 in resale value in depreciation when an accident is on its record. Spiking on average to $2,100 in depreciation if significant damage was sustained.  

Loss of current & future business: All the previous points can result in loss of current and future business if not managed efficiently. Furthermore, for each accident a fleet driver is involved in, their employer needs to sell more than £22,000 of products / services to cover the cost.  

Higher insurance premiums: The current fleet insurance market is described as a hard insurance market, which means higher premiums and less capacity. An accident is only going to raise your fleet risk profile and increase financial cost for a fleet operation. The average premium has increased by 40.2% in the UK since 2014 according to Consumer Intelligence data. Similarly in the US, for 43 consecutive quarters premium rates have risen. 

Preventing accidents

CameraMatics, has been developed not only to record and report accidents, but in addition prevent them, coaching drivers to be safer road users.  

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