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Fleet buyers urged to specify ‘five star’ vehicles

Wednesday 7th May 2014

A new publication provides guidelines on sourcing safe vehicles in a bid to “establish best practice for fleet operators in their vehicle selection” and to encourage fleet buyers to opt for cars with the top ‘five star’ safety rating.

The Global NCAP Fleet Buyer’s Guide advises fleet buyers to select vehicles that have been rated by New Car Assessment Programmes (NCAPs) with the five-star safety rating.

The guide also recommends that fleet managers purchase vehicles that at least meet the most important minimum United Nations vehicle safety standards.

Talking to Fleet News, David Ward, Global NCAP secretary general, said: “Global NCAP encourages all fleet managers to make five-star safety their goal in the UN Decade of Action.

“By following Global NCAP’s new guidelines it will be easier for organisations to ensure that the safety of their vehicle fleet provides acceptable levels of protection to their employees.”

Global NCAP’s guidelines will also help organisations to adopt the new road traffic safety standard ISO 39001, which identifies vehicle safety as a significant factor for fleet operators seeking to reduce death and injury in road crashes.

Max Mosley, chairman of Global NCAP, said: “If a company provides a car for their staff to use, it should be as safe as reasonably possible.

“A five-star or Top Pick safety rating is the best indication of this. It’s prudent also to check whether cars also meet the UN’s minimum safety regulations.

“With so many global brands neglecting to apply these regulations, fleet managers and company car drivers should not assume basic safety comes as standard.”

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The biggest factor in the safety of any vehicle is not its performance in a collision; it is the attitude and skill of the driver which to a large extent governs his safety and that of his passengers. The Government would of course benefit fiscally if we were all to purchase new vehicles, but it is not the answer to the problem.
David, Suffolk

Agree (5) | Disagree (4)
+1

The more we accept safer vehicles as being a 'solution', the more we ignore the elephant in the room which is the drivers causing the vehicles to crash in the first place! The more cars are advertised as being 'safer', the more risks some drivers might be inclined to take.

When I was working, I was fortunate in that I was always able to drive around in my own car, rather than a company or pool car and I'm not sure I would have liked to have had to have driven somebody else's albeit well-intentioned choice of vehicle, no matter how 'safe' it was perceived to be.

Employees who find themselves in this situation could end up driving with an air of resentment in a vehicle they are not comfortable with (or in!), which does not bode well for good behaviour behind the wheel and could therefore be counter-productive.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (6) | Disagree (12)
-6

I agree, Matt. Improvements in vehicle safety design may well have been the biggest factor in driving down the fatal and serious injury rates on our roads and I too would like a new safer vehicle (and better house, latest phone, biggest tv, etc). The Government tells us we must Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, yet often financially penalises us if we do.
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (8) | Disagree (2)
+6

Dave:
Having studied the development of crash structure and protection systems in vehicles and the subsequent occupant injury outcomes I know what I'd rather be driving! The safety developments over the last couple of decades, driven predominantly by the introduction and evolution of NCAP, have had a significant effect on injury outcomes in road crashes and the more promotion to help motorists/fleet managers make informed choices on the safety of their vehicles the better.
Matt Staton, Cambridgeshire

Agree (10) | Disagree (3)
+7

If we wish to actually save the planet, rather than just have policies which pretend to, we need to stop making so much stuff. Instead of causing the scrapping of perfectly good vehicles by promoting the building of new ones, with the consumption of energy and new materials that entails, the government could instead encourage us to repair and maintain what we already have. The policies sold to us as “Green” might often promote and encourage even more damage to the planet.
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (9) | Disagree (8)
+1

I long for the day when garage forecourts must show the star rating. Now that would surely have a dramatic effect on buying habits.
pete, liverpool

Agree (6) | Disagree (0)
+6

Well that's the vehicles sorted - let's hope the fleet operators haven't overlooked the 'star rating' of the employees who will be behind the wheel.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (12) | Disagree (0)
+12