ALPHARETTA, GA - According to National Safety Council estimates, 28 percent of crashes, or 1.6 million per year, can be attributed to talking on a cell phone and texting while driving. This is particularly troublesome because approximately 1.5 million drivers are using a cell phone at any given daylight moment, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

"These are staggering statistics that have made many fleet managers sit up and take notice. However, to truly minimize risk exposure, a company must be aware of who is driving their fleet vehicles. Otherwise, they could be exposed to both liability and financial burdens," said Dan Shive, vice president of risk management services for LeasePlan USA. 

LeasePlan's comprehensive safety and risk management program, SafePlan, can help address these concerns. SafePlan provides the ability to profile and assign a risk rating to corporate vehicle drivers, as well as any employee driving their personal vehicle for official company business. This rating system objectively identifies high-risk drivers so the company can take the necessary steps to mitigate risk and effectively reduce costs through the implementation of a safety program. 

All aspects of SafePlan are integrated into LeasePlan's accident management program and available through ePlan, the company's online fleet management tool. When a driver is involved in an accident, they are assigned points based on the type and severity of the accident. In addition, a communication is sent to the driver, signed by the client's safety advisor or other member of management, to promote safe driving. This communication includes tips to avoid distracted driving practices. 

"This unique part of the program not only advises the driver of what they can do differently to avoid this type of accident in the future, but it also lets them know that their company is fully aware of and keeping record of their accidents," added Shive. 

With a complete picture of its risk exposure, the company can add individual programs designed to enhance a company's overall safety and train the specific needs of drivers. These include: driver safety training -- proactive, remedial, online, behind-the-wheel and classroom; "800 How's My Driving?" program; vehicle safety kits; incentive rewards program; in-dash monitoring system; safety audits; and fleet policy development. 

"Don't wait until accidents happen to evaluate your risk. Reducing accidents, sometimes by as much as 15 percent, can lower your costs. And cutting costs helps you run an efficient fleet," said Shive.

LeasePlan USA is a subsidiary of LeasePlan Corp. N.V., a major provider of fleet management services. The company, which manages 1.3 million vehicles across 30 countries, offers clients customized plans. 

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