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  • Why your fleet should favour cars with AEB

    AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking) is considered a life-saving technology that has been shown in studies to reduce the likelihood of a front-to-rear crash by almost 40%. Euro NCAP and ANCAP (the Australian equivalent) published research in 2015 to show how AEB leads to a 38% reduction in real-world low speed rear end crashes with no significant difference between the benefits of urban and rural crashes.

    How AEB works

    AEB Autonomous Emergency BrakingThe automatic brake function operates effectively at speeds up to 31mph, which will go a long way towards reducing the number of rear-end crashes as 75% of all accidents occur under these circumstances.

    Yet despite these facts just 17% of new cars currently sold have AEB fitted as standard, a technology that Thatcham Research believes is key to reducing crashes and saving lives on British roads. Favouring vehicles with AEB technology could help to save money on your fleet insurance premiums due to reduced claims.

    Thatcham has recently called for all new cars to be fitted as standard with AEB, rather than it being an added optional extra that has to be paid for. Euro NCAP support this by only handing out their 5-star score to cars fitted with AEB.

    From 1 November last year, EU legislation does require that newly registered Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) over 7.5 tonnes are now legally required fitment of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) Systems. However, ideally this legislation needs to spread to all vehicles.

    Until AEB is available on all cars as standard, as a fleet manager you are left to decide if it is simply another cost that will bring no substantial benefit. To help you in your decision, here are a few of the reasons that you should favour cars fitted with AEB other than the obvious safety motive.

    1. AEB will save you money on your fleet insurance

    Low-speed accidents can be very costly as well as being the prime source of whiplash claims, which tend to drive up the cost of your fleet insurance. So the mere avoidance of these through the adoption of AEB technology will help in keeping your insurance costs down.

    The Association of British Insurers (ABI) have previously confirmed that paying out for AEB will save you money on your fleet insurance premiums in addition to making your vehicles much safer. Insurers have for some time recognised how AEB makes a significant difference to car safety and resulting risk and so this has been incorporated into insurance group ratings providing you with additional benefit in the form of considerable reduced costs.

    Following the importance of AEB technology there is also now a new LCV insurance group rating for 2016 which incorporates the introduction of AEB among other features, resulting in lower groupings for complying Light Commercial Vehicles.

    1. It will help to fulfil your duty of care obligation

    The duty of care responsibilities for business fleet are outlined under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. You are required to ensure that all employees are provided with a safe working environment, or face potential liability for incidents. Don’t also forget that having any staff involved in a vehicle accident can be extremely costly, not to mention all of the post-accident administration involved. Keeping Vehicle Off Road (VOR) time to a minimum is always going to be beneficial.

    1. Benefit from a higher residual value

    Whilst buyers are reluctant to pay out on this safety option, AEB currently enjoys an increased residual value. Depreciation is extremely high for vehicles as an asset, so anything that can help to retain value is an added bonus when it comes to replacing and upgrading your fleet. When you add up the savings from the improved insurance grouping and higher residual value you can often find that the savings completely outweigh the initial cost of investment.

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