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New driver behaviour device helps lawyers slash fuel bills and CO2 emissions through improved driving styles

July 29, 2016 | News

Solicitors and legal staff in Exeter are seeing dramatic improvements in driving styles thanks to their participation in a new driver behaviour trial being run by Lightfoot®.

The pilot, which began in May, involves over 20 staff from Michelmores, Ashfords LLP and Foot Anstey.  In just two months they have collectively cut the amount of time spent in the most inefficient, harsh acceleration ‘danger zone’ – where drivers are most likely to put themselves and others at risk – from 5% of their driving time to just 0.4%, a reduction of 92%.

Lightfoot, which is trialling its driver training device with private drivers across the city, believes that the findings could have positive implications for law firms and businesses across the South West looking to enhance their duty of care at the same time as cutting fuels bills, CO2 levels and wear and tear on company/firm cars.

Over the past two months staff from the three firms have competed in leagues to see which firm is most efficient. Using Lightfoot, a small driver coaching device that provides visual and verbal prompts to keep drivers in the ‘sweet spot’ of their engine, staff have not only improved fuel efficiency, but they have dramatically improved their driving styles, reducing the likelihood of at-fault accidents.

Lightfoot, which is widely used in the fleet sector where it has led to average fuel saving figures of over 15% and has cut accidents by as much as 60%, has already helped motorists taking part in the Exeter trial achieve up to 77.2mpg.

Commenting on the results of the trial to date Mark Roberts, Managing Director of Lightfoot, said: “The competition between the three firms’ drivers has been fantastic.  Each week drivers can see how they perform against their peers, and they can see how their firm compares to that of their rivals, enjoying the bragging rights when they are top of the table.

“Drivers also have the opportunity to compete for prizes once they achieve elite driver status, which requires the driver to hit a target efficiency level of 8,500 every week.  Pre-trial just 3% of those participating achieved elite driver status.  Now, over 50% are now regularly achieving that level, unlocking the chance to win prizes such as track days in performance cars, karting days or meals out.”

Roberts added: “Lightfoot was designed primarily to help save fuel, cut CO2 emissions and to reduce wear and tear on vehicles simply by helping drivers to adjust the way they drive.  The bi-product of this process has been a dramatic fall in at-fault accidents which we believe will be of great interest to law firms looking to enhance their duty of care and corporate and social responsibility plan either by installing the device on company cars or offering to fit it in staff owned cars.”

Competition between the firms in Exeter has been healthy.  Foot Anstey are currently leading the way with five weeks at the top of the Lightfoot legal league followed by Michelmores and Ashfords, who have both secured the top spot twice.

Lorraine Barnes, Bid Manager at Ashfords LLP, who has achieved elite driver status as part of the Lightfoot trial, said: “A team from Ashfords is taking part in the initiative to help our local environment and to see the benefits of driving more efficiently. The results have been really positive to see with five out of the eight of our team achieving ‘elite driver status’ placing them in the top 3% of all drivers. Collectively, we have seen a decrease in our fuel bills and as part of our Green Corporate Social Responsibility focus, we are pleased to hear we have reduced our CO2 levels.”

Commenting on Michelmores’ participation in the Lightfoot Legal League, Tom Torkar, Partner at the Firm commented: “During the trial I have made significant changes to my driving habits and have achieved 10% to 15% fuel economy improvements. Taking part in the trial and competing for the top spot alongside my colleagues at Michelmores also appealed to my competitive nature!

“Overall, taking part in the Lightfoot trial has been an eye-opening and rewarding experience.”