An incident that happened to me a few minutes ago adds massive weight to the argument in favour of carefully managing the drivers of liveried fleet vehicles.
In my other life I’m a Mortgage Consultant with a company based in Bexleyheath Kent.
Today i was in a car with another colleague and 2 Directors from a Building Society, out for a business lunch meeting.
We were all in a car being driven by my colleague on the West Malling Bypass. He is not a defensive driver so did not notice the significance of what was going on in front with a silver van in our lane, that seemed to be drifting a little too much from side to side for my liking.
My colleague kept well back and changed lanes for overtaking the van.
When alongside the van the driver deliberately increased speed and then undertook pulling out dangerously in front of us causing some hair-raising braking.
Comments from inside the car were quite interesting.
Most the focus of the occupants; dare we say it, “hate” was aimed at the company that owned the heavily liveried van and not the driver.
The comments were all pretty much aligned to “well that’s not a company that we will ever use”. The van belonged to a well known national company. The company has spent money to enhance its image, only to have it destroyed 5 fold by a van driver.
This example shows clearly that those companies that let their drivers hare around unchecked can not only be held legally responsible, but also responsible by potential customers.
Some companies have a wonderful structure in terms of Directors, Managers and other senior people; however in the eyes of many customers, a company is only as good as the man that drives the van.
In recent times we are being approached by more and more customers asking for Driver Assessments, training and methods of real time risk assessment monitoring, so that employing companies can see how their drivers really behave.