Sustainable transport for a better world.

KPIs; how to treat number of vehicle accidents/incidents

Gerard Boink shared this idea 3 years ago

Often, the number of vehicle accidents (Road Traffic Accidents, RTAs) is being used among other Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) when analysing fleet performance. This would then (I assume) say something about the performance of individual drivers (or a group of drivers). But if this is the case (and we use this as a KPI) how do we then distinguish between RTAs that were due to the fault of our driver versus third party at fault? If the RTA is due to a 3rd party at fault this can hardly be influenced by our own driver. And what about the magnitude of RTAs? Are we considering parking damage (with mostly limited damage) the same as a RTA with significant damage and sometimes injuries and loss of life?

Replies (5)


Hi Gerard,

Here is how we look at it:

The question who is at fault is interesting from an insurance / legal perspective, not so much from a road safety or driver performance point of view. From a driver performance perspective you could argue that if your drivers are never found at fault but are involved in road crashes that gaps in the road safety management system exist. For example: what is the hazard perception of the drivers? Are they trained to take more mitigation measures, knowing they are operating in an environment where a lot of other drivers / road users are incompetent? In other words: if you operate in an environment with a lot of 'others' causing crashes, you (as in the organisation) should make twice the effort to mitigate this risk.

On the magnitude of crashes: we do not consider 'damage only' crashes to be of the same magnitude but the amount of 'damage only' crashes can predict how many crashes can happen with fatalities and injuries. That's is why we advise organisations who have good data collection procedures and systems to capture data around all crashes (and also near misses). We advise to analyse the crashes with damages at a regular interval (for example monthly or quarterly) to understand if these crashes happened because of a gap in the road safety management system (like an 'early warning system') and if they could point you to improvements. For crashes with fatalities and injuries (including those of 3rd parties) we advise to conduct crash analysis after the event happened.

Last but not least: how you capture the different crash outcome depends on how robust your data collection is. If you capture kilometers driven or time used (for the city vehicles who are used a lot but not do a lot of kilometres), we suggest to capture the fatalities / injuries per 100.000 kilometres driven (or hours used). If you don't have insight in that, we suggest you express it in the number of damage only / injuries / fatality crashes.

Hope this helps!


Hi Gerard,

I do agree completely that we cannot hold drivers accountable for crashes that are not their fault. It should not put a negative mark on their performance or in their appraisal. What I tried to say is that the management of the organisation should do everything in their power to protect the drivers for ending up in a road crash where someone else is at fault. That could mean that the organisation:

  • issues extra procedures (for example to drive below the maximum speed limit in certain areas where there are a lot known irresponsible road users, ie close to markets, schools),
  • provide regular safety briefings and awareness trainings,
  • have more warning systems in vehicles,
  • encourage drivers and passengers to make recommendations to improve safety
  • report near misses
  • and much more.

What it comes down to is that management of an organisation has to work twice as hard to ensure that drivers can do their job as safe as possible. And if they end up in a crash that the organisation learns from it (regardless whose fault it is).

I am curious to hear what others think of this as well.


I believe we all have a responsibility as fleet managers to ensure that our drivers are reminded of the need to take all necessary precautions to mitigate RTA's, whether the third-party is at fault or not, its our staff who end up in hospitals, vehicles end up in garages for many days affecting our operations and to the society out there we are judged for not doing anything to avoid a crash


Hi Rose,

Thank you for your comments. I have reacted in the platform itself, so please have a look. For my understanding, is the discussion in the open now or is it just visible for me and you/FleetForum? I would really like to know also the opinion of others as well on the subject.

On another note and just for you to be aware, I am back with the OSCE now, working in the Secretariat in Vienna on consultancy basis. For the time being and due to Covid-19 I am still working from home/NLD, but hopefully I will be able to travel to Vienna soon. In any case, my OSCE email account (cc'd) has been re-established, so you may use that again.

Kind regards,



Hi Rose,

Many thanks for your comment/answer. Although I do not completely agree with all you've said, I can follow your logic. I agree that our drivers are 'guests' in the host nation and should be very defensive and careful drivers. They are 'ambassadors' of our organisation and they should behave as such. They should really anticipate for other 'more careless' drivers on the roads, thus avoiding accidents to happen, even if they would not be the ones to blame.

But even such mitigation measures would have limits and it would not completely avoid any accident from happening. And I think it would not be fair if a driver would get a negative remark when involved in a traffic accident where he/she is not to blame at all.

As for the data capturing and the analysis of data/statistics, I fully agree. The same with proper investigation and subsequent analysis of ALL the factors that have contributed to an accident. It really pays off if you do a proper unbiased investigation (avoiding a 'blame game'), find out the reasons for the accident that happened and introducing measures that can help to avoid such accidents to happen again.

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