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One in eight drivers 'nod off' at the wheelIt only takes seconds of sleep behind the wheel to cause a fatal crash, but research released by Brake and Cambridge Weight Plan reveals one in eight drivers has 'head-nodded' while driving in the past year. Head-nodding occurs when someone nods off for between two and 30 seconds, often without real­ising that they have been asleep. The survey of 1,000 drivers also revealed risky behaviour among many that can contribute to tiredness, with one in four admitting embarking on a journey when they already felt drowsy.Read more...Scottish council slashes fuel useWest Dunbartonshire Council has lowered CO2 emissions and reduced annual fuel costs by more than £100,000 following the introduction of vehicle tracking technology. The council, which runs a fleet of 380 vehicles with operating costs of more than £2 million, invested in a fleet management system from TomTom Business Solutions. Rodney Thornton, the council's head of fleet and waste services, said the fuel cost savings were a consequence of "improvements to the way council vehicle operators carry out their duties".Read more...Road deaths fall below 2,000Annual deaths on Britain's roads have fallen below 2,000 for the first time since records began, proving the value and effectiveness of having a strong road safety strategy, says the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Figures published by the Department for Transport reveal that 1,857 News digestAlphabet to buy ING Car Lease in £590 million dealAlphabet, the fleet management division of BMW Group, is to buy ING Car Lease for £590 million. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2011, subject to regulatory approvals.ING Car Lease was eighth in the FN50's list of the UK's top 50 contract hire companies, with a risk fleet of 47,615 vehi­cles, while Alphabet was ninth with 47,176 vehicles. A combined operation would put it at number three in the FN50 with 94,791 vehicles. "ING Car Lease is the perfect fit to complement the activities of Alphabet," said Norbert van den Eijnden, head of Alphabet.Read more...

Business servicesNews digestFunding methodsFleetprofileCar RecruitmentreviewsManufacturer newsContinues overpeople were killed in road accidents during 2010, a reduction of 365 (16%) on the previous year. A total of 22,660 people were seriously injured in reported road accidents (a reduction of 8%) and 184,138 people were slightly injured (a reduc-tion of 6%).Read more...Research dispels myth over electric emissionsA new report has challenged perceived wisdom into electric and hybrid vehicles by claiming that they emit fewer emissions over their lifecycle than diesel cars. The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership study found that electric and hybrid cars create more carbon emissions during their production than standard vehicles - but are still greener overall thanks to their lower tailpipe emissions. For example, a typical medium-sized diesel family car will create around 24 tonnes of CO2 during its life cycle, while an EV charged from the National Grid will produce around 18 tonnes.Read more...Lower CO2? Go for dieselNew technology due in the next few years will double the fuel efficiency of vehicles using an internal combustion engine and halve their CO2 emissions, according to a major supplier to the automotive industry. Bosch expects the internal combustion engine to dominate the automotive sector over the next 15 years.Read more...Councils lack appetite for parking planCouncils across the country have denied any By Stephen Briers, editor, Fleet NewsHow do we convince industry and company bosses that fleet management is a profession and not just a job? That was a question posed on the UK Fleet Managers Linked In group a couple of weeks ago. (fleets can click here to join the debate).It's an important topic of discussion: I've lost count of the number of times fleets have told me that they struggle to get heard by senior management, yet a company car or van fleet is one of the highest costs to a business - and one of the areas that is often run inefficiently. And the blame for that lies squarely with those directors who fail to listen to their fleet managers.So what's been suggested so far? One respondent believes that fleets need to have the same skills as senior management, including the ability to influence. Strategic thinking and managing people are key.An interesting blog from an American fleet publication shows that this issue is not confined to the UK. Their concern was that the voice of outside agencies, like consultants, was more highly valued by company bosses than the views of the in-house fleet manager. Sound familiar, anyone? EDITOR'S COMMENT"Fleets need to have the same skills as senior management, including the ability to influence"