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If fleet operators ensure their staff members drive safely and build-up a history of no-claims, they may receive cheap van insurance at renewal. However, despite an employee's best efforts when behind the wheel, he or she may still fall victim to a whiplash scam.

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), around 1,200 whiplash claims are made every day within the UK. While many of these may be from genuine sufferers, the organisation believes a large number of these claims may be fraudulent.

While some unscrupulous motorists may think falsely claiming compensation is a victimless crime, the ABI states insurers paid out approximately £2billion in whiplash compensation in 2011 – which increased the average vehicle insurance policy by £90.

Whether fraudulent or not, if a company's insurers pay whiplash compensation to a motorist following an accident, the employer could see their van insurance quote increase.

Managers should attempt to prevent their employees from suffering in traffic accidents to ensure the wellbeing of their workforce and hopefully reduce their van insurance premiums. They may be able to do this by implementing a system of driver training or providing incentives to staff members who adhere to the rules of the road.

However, employers may be able to prevent false whiplash claims and traffic accidents by purchasing Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) technology.

Autonomous Emergency Braking technology

Just before a vehicle collision, a driver may fail to apply the brakes due to a variety of reasons, such as distraction, failing to anticipate the actions of other road users or environmental factors. However, if an employee is travelling in slow-moving traffic, an AEB system may apply enough braking force to prevent a crash.

AEB devices generally use radar or LiDAR-based technology to scan for any potential hazards in front of a vehicle. If an obstacle is detected which could become a threat, the system will prompt the driver to take appropriate action. If he or she fails to do so, AEB technology will attempt to prevent the collision by applying the brakes and eventually stopping the vehicle.

According to Thatcham, a vehicle safety company, widespread implementation of AEB could help to reduce the number of traffic accidents on UK roads and save 2,700 pedestrian lives as well as prevent 160,000 whiplash injuries every year.

Recognising the benefits of AEB, Philippe Jean, from the European Commission, announced all new commercial vehicles will need to have this technology fitted from November 2013 to obtain European Type Approval.

If AEB could prevent these slow-moving traffic crashes from occurring, a fleet operator who installs this technology to their vehicles may be more likely to receive cheaper van insurance at renewal.