A rise in the number of younger and older fleet drivers is bringing a host of new safety challenges for fleet operators, according to driving licence checking service, Licence Bureau.

Fleets are experiencing more young employees driving for work, whilst simultaneously employing more older drivers reaching retirement age. Licence Bureau has warned that the changing face of fleet demographics could have consequences regarding restrictions on corporate insurance policies.

In the past, corporate drivers were largely middle management professionals aged 30-50 years. However, the proliferation of millennial workers – born between mid-1980s to 2000 – now means over a third (35%) of the UK workforce would be considered younger fleet drivers.

The arrival of Generation Z workers (born between 1996-2000) is particularly key for fleets, with young driving licence holders entering the world of work with their own ‘mobility expectations’ and ‘true digital native’ outlook.

More younger drivers expected in fleets

Contrary to popular belief, more young people are learning to drive than ever before. The Department for Transport (DfT) published its National Travel Survey England 2018, which found that the number of adults aged 17-20 with a driving licence had risen by 8% in just 12 months.

At the other end of the age spectrum, the number of driving licence holders aged 60-69 increased last year to the highest figure since records began way back in 1975-76.

Steve Pinchen, sales director, Licence Bureau, said: “It’s a bit of a ‘perfect storm’ scenario, with challenges rising at opposite ends of the employee spectrum.

“Typically, road users’ knowledge, experience and skills develop with experience over time. But they can also deteriorate based on age, and changes in cognitive and physical capability.”

The issue of risk management and road safety

The evolution of fleet driver demographics means that operators will see a rise in the average age of employees driving on company business. However, the onus will be on operators to implement enough procedures to ensure that fleet drivers young and old remain safe and efficient at the wheel.

“The key is to ensure all company car drivers, grey fleet and user chooser drivers are treated as individuals and given access to the appropriate support mechanisms such as risk assessments, employee audits and road safety training,” added Pinchen.