Data from various sources indicates that in most developed countries approximately 25% of road collisions and 30% of occupational fatalities involve someone driving for work. This represents a significant cost to society, the economy, organisations and families. Such collisions 55 are not confined to large commercial vehicles, but frequently involve smaller vehicles where driving is secondary to the employees? main task. Driving for work is associated with increased risk of involvement in a fatal or serious road traffic collision. Increasingly fleet management has focused on safety and driver behaviour as well as asset management and cost control. Studies have shown that managing the behaviour of both drivers and the organisation as a whole can contribute to incremental improvements in safety.

Understanding crash risk must include the background of random events that drivers encounter. This variation has been taken into account when studying interventions such as speed camera location and training schemes. In contrast, the impact of managers on driver outcomes has been less well investigated particularly when based on actual motor insurance claims data. For this reason, this paper reports on a study that rigorously incorporates the influence of managers within a driver claims model; not simply as a nuisance factor but rather as a topic of interest. It is based on employees’ insurance claims from a large UK company, which operates a fleet of approximately 37,000 vehicles and has made significant progress in applying a range of strategies to enhance driver safety over a 10 year period.

The paper concludes that identifying managers lying outside the normal range, and associated manager characteristics, can lead to valuable interventions at higher levels of the organisation. This manager effect is found to be statistically significant indicating that the work has important implications for research, policy and practice to improve road safety performance in organisations where people are required to travel as part of their work.