Second place went to Andy Price from Zurich Insurance Group, and third place went to Steven Annable from Alstom.
Now in its second year, the unique competition organised by ALD Automotive in association with Fleet World and event partners AA DriveTech and Toyota & Lexus Fleet Services, put fleet drivers’ skills to the ultimate test to find the UK’s best company car driver and promote smarter, safer driving.
Entrants took part in a three-month evaluation process which included testing their knowledge of the Highway Code and an independent online psychometric assessment to identify behaviours that contribute to a driver’s increased risk of having an accident. Drivers also had their driving technique monitored for a month through in-vehicle telematics.
During this stage, the drivers completed more than 46,000 miles with their driving monitored to highlight those with the smoothest, safest and most fuel-efficient style. Any events that impacted on vehicles or driver performance, including speeding, harsh braking, acceleration, driving without a break and idling, were benchmarked and scored in conjunction with ALD Automotive’s partner AA DriveTech. During the month-long period more than 400 events were recorded, a 31 per cent reduction compared to the same stage of the competition last year.
At the end of the 30-day evaluation the top-ten drivers were invited to take part in a set of highly skilled driving challenges at this year’s Fleet World Fleet Show.
Commenting on being crowned Fleet Driver of the Year 2014, Philip Palmer commented: ‘Winning has been incredible and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every challenge we undertook at Silverstone. I came seventh last year and so I entered again this year just to see if I could improve on that. I wasn't expecting to win so it felt fantastic when I did. I think that I'm a fairly confident driver with the miles I drive and it was a great opportunity to challenge myself against other good drivers. The experience, from start to finish, has really made me aware of my own driving style and how small changes in technique can result in improvements in safety and fuel efficiency which ultimately save money.’
As well as being crowned Fleet Driver of the Year, Philip Palmer also won the opportunity to drive the Lexus LFA Supercar round the track, a GT86 driver experience day and tickets to the British FI Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Mel Dawson, managing director for ALD Automotive, said: ‘Fleets may be funded in the most tax efficient way and use the most fuel efficient cars available, but when the keys are handed over, it’s driving style that has the biggest influence on cost, risk and CO2 output. This competition is designed to demonstrate to fleet managers and company car drivers the impact driving style can have on safety and costs.
‘We would like to congratulate Philip Palmer on being named Fleet Driver of the Year 2014, and also thank all the drivers that took part in this year’s competition and the support they have received from their fleet managers. The drivers had a lot of fun undertaking the challenges, as well as having their safer and smarter driving ability tested to the limit.
‘We’ve been really impressed with the drivers that have entered this year’s competition. There was a significant reduction in terms of the number of events that have been recorded in the telematics stage of the competition – perhaps a reflection of drivers being even more conscious of their driving style and taking fewer risks.’
For further details on ALD Automotive’s Fleet Driver of the Year 2014 competition please visit www.fdoty.com