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  • Why you need to protect your fleet against aggressive driving

    Protect your fleet against aggressive driving

    There can be many dangers on the road, but aggressive driving is one that can be hard to police against. Many of us have experienced times of anger whilst driving, but unfortunately as an employer you need to be aware that statistically aggressive driving can actually kill up to four times as many people as drunk driving.

    Aggressive driving, better known as ‘road rage’ can be described as:

    • Taunting or contemplating violence against other drivers
    • Not obeying traffic safety rules, including intimidating drivers adhering to the speed limit
    • Engaging in aggressive driving such as tailgating, speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, braking to get others to back off your bumper, or honking horns aggressively

    How aggressive driving can affect your business

    As an employer with staff who are regularly on the road, communications on aggressive driving – how to avoid aggressive driving from behind the wheel as well as how to diffuse potential road rage incidents and becoming victim to aggressive driving - should become part of your regularly communicated fleet safety policy to keep drivers engaged and informed.

    Aggressive driving either initiated by your own fleet drivers or against your drivers can cost your business in terms of:

    • Fleet insurance premiums being raised – aggressive driving can cause road accidents resulting in an unfortunate rise in fleet insurance premiums based on risk.
    • Fleet maintenance – aggressive driving usually involves acceleration, heavy braking, and swerving which all lead to poor fuel economy and increased wear and tear costs when servicing the vehicle in addition to overall lifespan.
    • Possible public liability lawsuits – aggressive driving resulting in accidents or loss of life can expose your business to potential claims which are hopefully insured against, but we would all hope not to be in this situation in the first place. Remember your drivers are representing your brand on the road and reputations can be easily damaged, not to mention the severity of injuring someone.

    How can you protect against aggressive driving within your fleet?

    Measuring aggressive driving can be hard to do without the use of telematics equipment. However, with or without telematics driver training should become part of your fleet management programme and expectations should be communicated and become part of your culture.

    Telematics can help to record driving habits as well as alerting the driver to unsafe and inefficient driving techniques such as hard braking, acceleration, and cornering. The alerts to the driver can help to develop and retrain driving habits, whilst also drawing attention to drivers with regular problems and the need to introduce further training or consequences following their actions. Likewise good driver behaviour can also be rewarded and encouraged via the introduction of incentives and competitions.

    In addition to allowing for measurement of driving behaviour and helping to control driver performance, the use of telematics can also often help provide proof of reduced risk and assist in keeping down your fleet car insurance premiums.

    Driving tips to avoid aggressive behaviour

    The following methods should be regularly communicated to your fleet drivers to instil a culture of safe driving.

    • Allow plenty of room when merging with traffic to avoid cutting across other vehicles
    • Do not tailgate, allow a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front
    • Always signal when changing lanes
    • Allow plenty of time for your journey, factoring in possible delays
    • Do not engage with or make prolonged eye contact with aggressive drivers
    • Do not leave your vehicle when approached by an aggressive driver
    • Seek help if you feel threatened by calling the police at the next opportunity
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