On the move: managing road traffic accidents

07 March 2017

Health and safety risks in the food and drinks industry are found across the supply chain – a supply chain that involves a lot of driving. Produce has to make its way from farms to factories, to delivery depots and warehouses, and finally to the stores and supermarkets. 

Many of the journeys the industry makes are early morning, says Steve Vachre, Regional Broking Director handling JLT Specialty’s motor insurance business. Darkness, fog, ice and tiredness can all heighten the risks of accidents. 

Many of the delivery locations, meanwhile, also involve travelling into or through busy town or city centres – not ideal environments for commercial vehicles, says Vachre. 

Companies can help to prevent accidents through good work patterns, training and monitoring. Telematics (the use of GPS and other technologies to capture how employees are driving) can be a great help. 

Technology can also help to mitigate the cost when incidents do happen. 

On-board CCTV can prove whether an accident was the fault of a company’s driver, and is a powerful deterrent to ‘crash for cash’ frauds committed against them. 

“I’ve seen a lot of footage of incidents that don’t look right where the other party immediately loses interest when the commercial driver points to the camera,” says Vachre. 

The most effective technology to reduce losses, however, remains a mobile phone. 

The sooner the depot manager, broker or insurer can be notified of an accident and contact the other person involved, the better the chances of controlling the costs. When alerted quickly, it’s easier to direct where repairs are carried out, arrange cost-effective courtesy cars, and mitigate any potential personal injury claims. 

“If you get to the third party within an hour, there is probably a 70 per cent chance of controlling the costs,” says Vachre. “The second it goes over 24 hours, that reduces to about 10 per cent.”

For more information contact Steve Vachre, Regional Broking Director on +44 161 957 8034 or email steve_vachre@jltgroup.com