Delayed whiplash reform costs Britain’s motorists total of £1.3 billion

One of the most common personal injuries people claim compensation for is whiplash, says the Association of British Insurers (ABI). Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a sudden movement of the head. It is often a result of a road traffic accident.

More than 1,500 whiplash claims are made in the UK every day. That is costing the insurance industry more than £2 billion a year. And adding £90 to the average annual motor insurance premium.

Average compensation amount is in the region of £3000

Some claimant have severe pain in their neck and are suffering quite badly. If there is also quite a lengthy prognosis then they are likely to receive maximum compensation. Which would be in the region of £11,000. A claimant with the same amount of pain and suffering but prognosis of less than maybe two years is likely to receive compensation between £6,500 and £11,500. The average compensation amount is in the region of £3000.

ABI campaigns for reform

The ABI has campaigned for reform of the personal injury claims system for many years and welcomes the introduction of the Civil Liability Act 2018.  The reforms will:

  • Provide a tariff of payments for some aspects of whiplash compensation.
  • Introduce a computerised Portal system which will be simple and easy to use
  • Simplify the claims system so legal advice is only paid for on road traffic personal injury claims over £5,000 (rather than £1,000).
  • Introduce a ban on seeking or offering to settle whiplash claims without medical evidence of the injury.

Reform how the Discount Rate used to calculate larger personal injury awards is set, to ensure it is up to date and reflects how claimants typically invest their compensation

New reform delayed

However, back in April, the MoJ announced that it would delay the introduction of the Civil Liability Act, citing the coronavirus pandemic. But the ABI warned the department against undue delays, claiming any additional stalling would “impact on the benefits to claimants and consumers”.

Now, the new laws are set to arrive in April 2021, 12 months after the original scheduled introduction in April 2020. The delayed introduction of new rules designed to cut the value of personal injury compensation has cost Britain’s motorists a combined total of £1.3 billion.

Ways to protect your premiums and claims
  • Proof – using a dash camera to capture driving footage, the better quality the better your chances.
  • Tracking devices protects you against speeding accusations, with proof of your legal speed will surly speed up your claim in your favor. Also lowering your insurance cost in many cases.
  • Check with your insurance provider what cover you get in RTA.
Sources:
https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/personal-injury-claims/whiplash-claims/
https://www.legalfutures.co.uk/latest-news/new-setback-in-race-to-begin-whiplash-reform-in-april
https://www.accidentclaimsadvice.org.uk/whiplash-claims-calculator/
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/delayed-whiplash-reforms-cost-drivers-082000214.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAMD62pFp9tXh1T6nBQvwCulJi7rHBs6foVuShq9gyFlw7oqmWDZ11FF9B9W0uBPAiavaUGKDKZcwrDkaycR8JHIcu_Rdu3iZONbBgjYgjHHo52amWRs6bFVYd9eccouOlsG0xyIHoY7iqEWqComrKY16lyibIqzuN8Ma55uYitDP

FORS: Safer and smarter

What is FORS?

FORS stands for Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme. It is a voluntary accreditation scheme aiming to raise the quality level within fleet operations. The scheme makes sure companies manage their work-related road risk – exceeding the industry standard.

What are the benefits for fleet operators?

Being accredited helps transform a business by helping them stand out from the crowd. Through the accreditation process fleets improve road safety, increase environmental awareness by reducing fuel emissions and improve fuel efficiency. FORS helps operators remain compliant with the latest regulations and gain greater industry intelligence through insights and networking opportunities.

How can operators gain accreditation?

Operators can gain a bronze accreditation by showing good business practice and complying with FORS standard requirements. To achieve silver accreditation, operators must maintain a bronze accreditation and fleets must be compliant with the Standard for Construction Logistics.

What can fleet operators do to gain Gold accreditation? 

To achieve a gold accreditation, operators must perform best industry practice measures and demonstrate meaningful improvements against the baseline data gathered for a silver accreditation.

How can FORS boost fleet efficiency?

Recorded data is key for operators to perform and identify key areas of improvements in fleet efficiency. Members can use FORS fleet management tools to help collate data on fuel consumption, emissions and fleet incidents all of which can help to understand where chances in efficiency can be made.

How can telematics services, such as Simplytrak’s, help operators gain and maintain FORS accreditation? 

Simplytrak’s tracking platform is a major asset to any new or existing member of FORS, using modern algorithms to accurately calculate fuel usage, emissions, collision reports, vehicle operation hours and video footage from our witness cameras.

All play a vital role in the progress from Bronze to Gold. Our data logging servers are cloud based ensuring any historical vehicle data will always be at hand.

Simplytrak can tailor any of our packages to suit your fleets needs. We offer a variety of extras such as temperature probes, fluid level sensors, driver ID interfaces plus many more.

 

Get in touch with us today to find out more and see how we can help you.

Traffic Safety Regulations – Is your HGV-fleet DVS-ready?

Major cities around the world are taking a stand to end the toll of deaths and injury seen on their roads and transport networks. They are committing to Vision Zero and regulations like the Driver Vision Standard (DVS).

Ian Wood, Managing Director at Simplytrak, explains what fleet operators need in order to get their Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) compliant-ready.

 

What does Vision Zero mean for fleet operators?

From October 2020, all heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) over twelve tons operating in Greater London will need to abide by new Driver Vision Standard (DVS). This is designed to stop deaths caused by lorry blind spots. Like most regulations, it is slightly complicated by exemptions. However, rules will be rigorously enforced whenever vehicles enter the capital. Whilst these regulations are designed for London now, you can expect them to be rolled out across the country.

Operators should not wait until the last minute to make vehicles compliant. Acting now is in the interests of the whole industry and not just for vehicles London bound or based. Every HGV operator in the country should invest a relatively small amount in maximizing the safety of their fleet – and then promote the fact that they have done so.

Fleet operators everywhere can look upon DVS compliance as an investment in both safety and marketing. Being at the top end of the safety ladder is good for business, something to shout about and simply sound business practice.

What do the regulations demand?

All qualifying HGV’s operators must apply for a free star rating for each vehicle in the fleet. This will need to be done prior to operating in Greater London after 26 October 2020. Enforcement will commence immediately on that date. New vehicles will likely have a rating from the manufacturer although operators will still need to apply for the permit.

How can operators apply and what happens afterwards?

All fleet operators must apply through the Transport for London (TfL) website. Operators will enter vehicle details and add pictures of any post-manufacture safety equipment added to comply with the regulations. TfL will issue a star rating. If the rating is zero then the operator will have to upgrade the vehicle to comply before the deadline. If rated 1 then it is good to go until 2024 when the minimum rating increases to 3. TfL will issue a 10-year permit for companies with a 5-star rating.

How can fleets become DVS compliant?

DVS compliant equipment includes vehicle safety cameras, front and sideview mirrors and audible sirens. These tools alert pedestrians and cyclists that the vehicle is planning to turn. Side safety barriers stop cyclists or people from going under the side of the vehicle. Digital Video Recorder (DVR) cameras are a requirement and they must also be multi-camera systems. They must come with in-cab monitors fitted in approved areas to maximise usage whilst minimizing distraction for the driver. Side bar protection is another professional install but the mirrors can probably be sourced and self-mounted, as can safety stickers.

What do you need to do as a fleet operator?

Act now.

Whilst there is no approved suppliers list from Transport for London, many companies exist in the market to help. Equipment prices range in the market. They don’t cost a fortune, but they require professional fitting. A lot of companies cover many or all of the required technology. They can sometimes also install anywhere in the country.

While the regulations currently only apply to the capital, operating safely everywhere is part of the role of every fleet operator. So why not install ahead of the curve and slash your company accident statistics to zero now, wherever you are based.

Speak to our experts

The Mayor of London’s Vision Zero is a strong idea. The elimination of HGV blind spots to save lives is well overdue when technology has been available for some time to achieve this.

As a fleet management operator specialising in bespoke vehicle tracking and camera solutions, Simplytrak have been working with the freight industry for many years.

Given the unprecedented circumstances we all find ourselves in with the Coronavirus pandemic, it has become even harder for fleets to operate. TfL are currently reviewing the enforcement start of the new rules. However, one thing is sure and that’s that the DVS will come. And not being prepared will cost you.

We know there is a lot to think about when installing aftermarket equipment on mixed fleets in particular. Avoid last-minute hassle and please reach out to our experts for free advice now. 

Get in touch today by calling 01430 879197 or emailing enquiries@simplytrak.com.

 

 

 

Covid-19: OPTIMISING THE COUNTRY’S FLEET OPERATIONS WITH VEHICLE TRACKING

As we are all aware the vehicle rental sector has a vital role in maintaining the essential movement of goods, people and services during the Covid-19 pandemic. 
 
Vehicle rental companies are experiencing a surge in demand as businesses crucial to preventing the spread of coronavirus need to expand their fleets.
 
Pharmacies, couriers and cleaning firms are among those that need to rapidly upscale the number of vehicles they operate.
 
Simplytrak already supplies vehicle telematic systems to this industry.
 
With our engineers across the country we can have those vehicles tracked within a very short space of time. Simplytrak’s trackers and software to enable you to manage your fleet and schedules more efficiently.
 
We appreciate these vehicles need to be on the road quickly. It will normally only take approximately 45 minutes to fully install a hard wired system.
Give us a call and we can usually have you up and running within a couple of days. 
 
Please get in touch with us and we will be pleased to help you.

This is a short excerpt from an article by our CEO Andrew Johnson in the Yorkshire Business Insider.

Now is the time.

Now is the time. Earlier this week Simplytrak has asked all employees to work from their home. 

 

Why? Because keeping our team and associates safe is our number one priority during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

 

What does the new situation mean? We’re 100% committed to continue delivering the best service for our clients. Being a reliable and trusted supplier of vehicle and asset tracking and camera solutions. 

 

What does it mean for us as a team? We’re strong and we will become stronger through this. We will remain highly productive as individuals and as a business using digital collaboration and communication tools. 

 

Please give us a ring if you have any questions. However, don’t be surprised if you hear children laughing dog’s barking – after all we are at home. 
Stay safe.
Your Simplytrak team.

Protect your commercial vans from theft

In 2018 we have seen an increase of 27% in commercial van theft, the highest affected areas around the UK were Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Hampshire and South Yorkshire. 2850 vans were reported stolen during 2018 – 2019, this works out around 55 vans per week.

In line with commercial van thefts were 3513 reported tool thefts. Cambridge, Staffordshire, South Yorkshire were the hardest hit places. This figure is up 8% from 2017 – 2018. The theft of these tools is the backbone to people’s business, without the tools they do not make the money.

Our Business Development Manager Greg Halliday shares his key ways to protect your van contents:

  • Remove your tools when you remove yourself, take what you can when you can. Try and leave nothing of value in the van.
  • Vulnerability is a thief’s drug, seeing a car or van with keys in, doors left ajar, open windows. They will take any opportunity they see. Make sure every possible entry point is locked down. Park in locations with street lights, CCTV or pedestrian walkway. The more chances you have of being seen, the less likely a thief will take a chance.
  • Having warning signs on your can doors/windows is a mild deterrent but can be effective. Advising the van is monitored with 24hr CCTV and tracked, or no tools are left in this van (seems corny or a double bluff in my opinion).
  • Steering the thief’s away from your vehicle, using a steering lock can be a great prevention to vehicle theft or break ins. The best steering locks will clamp the gear stick and steering wheel together in 1 application.
  • If you carry valuable tools, money or expensive assets in van I’d invest in a safe. Lock those prize tools away. Bolted to the floor and chassis will ensure that pup isn’t going anywhere.
  • Window tints. Blacked out windows don’t only look gangster but actually offer privacy and security benefits. Limiting the view into your rear bay or seats will help remove a thief’s curiosity.
  • Tracking devices are an obvious must have, offerings of driver behaviour reports and money saving benefits on fuel and repairs but having the option to immobilize the van after you report is stolen pulls the power back to you when it comes to recovery of the vehicle.
  • Dash cameras, most dash cameras these days offer some form of park mode, stating theft protection, when in fact these cameras can only stay awake after ignition off for around 30-60 mins. If you invest into a recognized camera brand with a secondary power backup you can see the unit stay awake for days in most cases. Using motion detection, it will record when someone or something (darn cats) passes the front of the window, also if you set impact detection you can force recording when the vehicle gets notice of rocking.
  • UV pens, mark your tools with your initials, mark items of the van, inside the doors jams, boot lid, under the bonnet. The thieves won’t see it. Unless the now carry UV pens, which I can’t see being a thing. Any marking you can make to better identify your assets or vehicle is half the battle in securing what’s yours.

For any camera, tracking or specific UV pen requirements please contact us at Simplytrak.

Most common causes for road accidents in Britain 

Using the latest statistics from the Department for Transport, RegTransfers has researched the top causes of road accidents and come up with the top 10 that occur in a year throughout Britain.

Using the latest statistics from the Department for Transport, RegTransfers has researched the top causes of road accidents.

The most common cause of accidents is driver error. Over 100,000 (108,479) crashes occured in the UK due to cars suddenly braking, drivers failing to look properly, poor car maneuvering and/or loss of control.

Not only do road accidents cost the driver. They are costly to the people involved in the crash, insurance companies, emergency service units and local councils. Car accidents also cause traffic disruptions and emotional distress if there are any fatalities or injuries.

A third of British drivers have been financially affected by a car accident

A new survey has revealed that a third (36%) of British drivers have been financially affected by a car accident that wasn’t their fault. On average, the amount paid by motorists to cover policy excesses and non-fault insurance claims is £215. This includes hiring temporary cars, travel expenses and any other financial burdens. Many people believe the at-fault motorists’ insurance company pays out for all those affected, however, this is not the case.

With car accident and injury percentages increasing year on year – and statistics to show just how many causes and types of crashes there are – drivers need to be aware now more than ever while on the road.

Ways to protect your insurance premiums and claims

Along with these accidents comes another bullet to bite: Insurance premiums. A fee no one what’s to increase, not of their own accord anyway. If the accident can’t be proved to be the other driver’s fault then everyone suffers.

Ways to protect your premiums and claims

  • Proof – using a dash camera to capture driving footage, the better quality the better your chances.
  • Tracking devices protects you against speeding accusations, with proof of your legal speed will surly speed up your claim in your favor. Also lowering your insurance cost in many cases.
  • Check with your insurance provider what cover you get in RTA.

 

Source: https://www.regtransfers.co.uk/content/common-causes-for-road-accidents-in-britain/

How to minimise the risk of vehicle theft

January is the most common time for car crime.

Car thefts and incidents of vehicle crime increases throughout January to become the most dangerous month for offences. Winter car insurance scams such as frosting and keyless car thefts can be blamed for the seasonal rise.

Car crime soared in the opening month of the year as a total of 375,001 vehicle incidents were recorded in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2019. January joins March, April, May and October as the top five worst months for vehicle crime but the opening month tops the list as the most prolific period.

A total of 11 percent of all vehicle crimes recorded in 2019 took place in January, according to UK police data analysed by Click4Reg.

Simple things such as removing any High Value Good from the vehicle – satnavs, money, phones, handbags or wallets will lower the chances of break ins. Here are three tips on how to further minimise the risk:

  1. Get your vehicles tracked

Installing a dash camera is a great deterrent these days as many use motion detection, or sleep mode recording.

With the advances in GPS technology we’re able to locate assets in more remote places such as container units, warehouses and in some cases underground car parks. Taking the advantage away from the thieves. Installing a recognised branded tracking unit can save you thousands on insurance and increase the chances of having the vehicle returned.

  1. Vehicle immobilisation 

Adding the extra option to have the vehicle remotely immobilized is a very wise choice, the user is able to text the tracker to shut off the power on the next engine off cycle, meaning the vehicle will no longer start up, until the user sends another code to re-engage on recovery of the asset. This will limit the distance the vehicle can travel after theft. Allowing the owner to set up recovery option with the local police.

  1. Jam your key signals 

Vehicles with keyless entry / ignition will benefit from owning an RFID pouch. RFID pouches use electromagnetic fields to stop incoming and outgoing frequencies that thieves would usually use to open and get away with your vehicle.

RFID pouches are available from Amazon UK from as little as £5.”

 

Stats source: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/1224928/car-crime-january-vehicle-thefts-uk-thieves-criminals-regions-map

The Connected Car 2020

Our CEO Andrew Johnson was asked by Fleet World Magazine about his views on the the biggest Connected Car developments in 2020.

  1. What do you think will be the biggest connected car developments in 2020?

In short, more of the same. We have had connected cars at the top of manufacturers ranges for a while now. Tesla is at the pinnacle with high end manufacturers like Jaguar Land Rover and Mercedes following their lead. The connectivity comes at various levels. Every Tesla is connected to Tesla HQ as is their Supercharger network. Over-the-air software updates and information about how many Superchargers are free on your journey are two advantages of this for the driver. This is mainly because a Tesla is as much a computer with wheels as it is a car. Jaguar Land Rover and others are still more car than PC today but all moving in the same direction. Electrification and subsequent connectivity back to the manufacturer will certainly become more mainstream. 

  1. Manufacturers are adopting voice-operated In-Car Assistants as standard fit in many cars. Do you think your products will integrate with these systems, or will there be problems? 

In car assistants are becoming more widespread across the manufacturers ranges also. The manufacturers will be highly protective of these systems and rightly paranoid about the potential for hacking them. As vehicles head towards autopilot-type functionality, these risks are concerning but will not stem the tide. Hence manufacturers will be slow to open up much if anything of these systems to third party integrators and we do not expect any outside of the largest of tech companies to get real access to real integration for the next few years.

  1. With 5G becoming more widespread, will you be able to offer more services at greater speed for clients?

5G is currently being rolled out though coverage is limited to large cities at present. There is still a lot of infrastructure to build to make this a reality throughout the country and many systems that use the technology will also be using 3G and 4G as a backup for the next few years. Eventually this will lead to faster systems and newly built vehicles will have a future-proofing feature in preparation for nationwide 5G coverage.

 

The challenge in the vehicle space is simply the mobility of the assets themselves. Whilst 5G coverage may quickly become widespread across London, even vehicles that commute into the surrounding counties will need tech that doesn’t exclusively rely on 5G to function. Equally, all this fast connectivity assists the manufacturers as much as the vehicle owners. Service warnings and fault identification will benefit the main dealerships over independent repair centres, for example.

Manufacturers will also quickly be able to track and monitor their vehicles after the sale. However, this will not help a fleet owner monitor a mixed fleet anytime soon. Nimble third-party companies are leading the charge to integrate camera/tracking systems to assist drivers. These too will adopt 5G and much R&D is quietly happening right now to stay ahead of the game for the consumer. When 5G arrives in your area, your camera systems at least will be ready.

Read the full article here.

“AI is the ‘new black'”

Simplytrak’s MD Ian Wood is featured in this month’s Fleet World Magazine. Read below what Ian has to say on the arrival of artificial intelligence in telematics solutions.

The phrases Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and algorithms are very often used interchangeably. However, it is important not to get caught up in the hype that often surrounds the adoption of new and existing technologies.

Different versions of the same tech

AI, ML and algorithms are all connected phrases but are in essence different versions of the same underlying tech. Whilst to the software and marketing teams this matters, to the end-user the focus should be only ever be on the suitability of the total solution provided to their business.

Algorithms can be very simple ‘if-then’ commands used throughout the software world and have been around a very long time. Awareness of them only became much more widespread as their use became more prominent when the likes of Google updates helped to create an entire industry designed around outsmarting the search engine giant.

All telematics hardware contains firmware which works on that very basis too. ‘If this panic button is pressed, activate this output’ is a perfect example. ’If this input becomes live, send an ‘ignition on’ message to the server’ being another.

Machine Learning on the other hand is often a collection of algorithms working together to perform a task or tasks without being programmed how to do so. This is more frequently used in data-mining telematics information to highlight inefficiencies in fleet use or bad driving behaviour/vehicle use.

AI is the ‘new black’

AI, however, is ‘the new black’. It differs from the above by its algorithms being able to cope with unstructured data and creating tasks essentially based on surprises. Whilst buzzy in terminology, in real terms it’s widespread use for our purposes is very limited at this time.

Business needs are individual and complex and telematics solutions should always have a focus on the end goal of increasing efficiency and safety in fleet use. The use of AI will happen soon enough. But for all the buzz, AI is still just a set of behind the scenes processes based on algorithms, data-collection and manipulation. The focus of the end user must remain on using telematics solutions to improve fleet and asset use and gain maximum efficiencies for safety and their bottom line.

Simplytrak are a no nonsense provider of advanced and often bespoke telematics solutions.