The true cost of a Road Traffic Accident

A client of mine has invested in 3G vehicle cameras, due to having two vehicles written off in a short space of time. Another client had a brand-new vehicle written off, they had just paid for it to be fully branded and it was about a week old.
This has led to some interesting conversations about the true cost of a road traffic accident and the business case for investing in vehicle cameras.
I thought it may be useful to list some of the costs here and would welcome thoughts about additional costs I may have missed;
Insurance Excess – This assumes you pay the first part of any claim, although many companies will make employees pay the excess if the accident was their fault. Average excess for a commercial vehicle is about £250, young drivers around £500 but a poorly performing fleet often pay an excess of £1000 plus! Even if you do charge the driver, that could leave them disgruntled and they may eventually leave in protest, leading to time and money wasted to recruit and train a new driver.
Insurance Premiums – Will your premium rise at renewal time? It’s difficult to say, if it’s one blemish on an otherwise spotless claims history you may get away with it. However, if it’s part of an increasingly poor record, premiums will surely rise and you may find there are far less insurers willing to take you on as a new client. Those that will insure you are going to ask for a higher premium for taking on the extra risk.
Employees time – How many staff will get involved in the administration of an accident? The employee who has been involved will probably lose several hours that day. A member of staff will need to liaise with the insurance company and probably arrange the recovery of the vehicle, they will also have to deal with a garage and arrange a courtesy vehicle. A manager will spend time investigating the incident, they may also have to set aside time to re-train the driver. This is assuming the driver hasn’t been badly injured, they may need weeks or months off work to recover. This could affect your business and may incur the cost of recruiting and training temporary staff to cover their workload.
Additional costs and inconvenience – As mentioned above, a replacement vehicle may need to be branded. Also, It may not be easy to simply replace your vehicle, it may have specialist racking or other modifications, it could be a refrigerated vehicle for instance.
What about the costs involved in a serious road traffic accident? In most cases the police will take the lead on investigating road traffic incidents on public roads. However, the Health and Safety Executive will take enforcement action where the police identify that serious management failures have been a significant contributory factor to an incident. What happened if your driver has seriously injured a third party and you find your company defending itself against an allegation of negligence? This can start to get extremely costly, you may have to factor in the following;

  • Advice from a lawyer
  • The cost of a Barrister before and at trial
  • Many hours of senior management time, investigating the incident and possibly lost time in court giving evidence
  • Cost of damage to the vehicle involved, increase in insurance costs due to a major incident
  • Again, potential loss of a staff member due to injury or suspension, plus the cost of hiring and training a replacement
  • Potential loss of income through adverse publicity over the legal action
  •  Compensation payments to the claimant which could include ongoing care
  •  Cost of the fine if the company is prosecuted for the actions of the driver
  •  Remember, fines are unlimited under the Corporate Manslaughter Act

It is not unusual for a road traffic accident with serious injuries to a third party to reach more than £1,000,000. Add to that the recent change in the Odgen rates which means all current and future personal injury claims can pay out two to three times the previous amounts.
If the above nightmare scenario happened to your company that would be bad enough, but just imagine if it wasn’t even your drivers fault but you had no evidence to prove it?
In a recent case our camera footage saved a company many thousands of pounds. Two cars jumped a red light and both ended up hitting our client who had just gone through a green. Seeing the damage to both their vehicles, the other parties immediately swore our client had jumped the red light! He was exonerated and the case was swiftly settled as a non-fault, but without the camera evidence it would have been their word against his and a very costly claim.
Another new client told me he hasn’t had any claims for years, but that two of his drivers had recently approached him and asked him to install cameras in the vehicles. They’d both had near misses with dangerous drivers and said they wanted the cameras for their own protection.
If you are operating a fleet of vehicles in your business, it’s worth having the conversation about vehicle cameras. Even if you have the world’s best performing fleet, past performance is no guarantee of future results! We want to help you reduce the risk of having any at fault road traffic accidents and protect your company from any non-fault or disputed claims.
VisionTrack have a wide range of exceptional cameras for every requirement, from SD card cameras at less than *£199 each, to **3G vehicle cameras with instant video alerts and integrated tracking for less than *£250 each. We also offer a range of ***Mobile DVR’s which can take up to 24 cameras and offers live streaming!
Why not speak to us about your requirements, whether you are looking at vehicle cameras for the first time or are not getting the results expected with your current system. We will listen to you and offer our suggestions. We are committed to providing you with the best solutions in vehicle safety technology to help reduce the risk to your company, staff and assets and avoid the associated costs of a road traffic accident.
If you would like to get in touch, please either call me on 07896 269017 or email pmurphy@localhost
Image below from VisionTrack’s VT2000 3G Camera with integrated tracking.

*Installation not included
**3G Camera requires a minimal monthly rental to cover data costs
***Mobile DVR quote depends on number of vehicles and cameras, price on application