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  • Do driving courses make your fleet safer?

    Do driving course make your fleet safer

    Fleet driver training should be an integral component of a fleet management programme. The aim of the training is to reduce risks as well as lowering your fleet costs such as fuel, maintenance, and insurance premiums. As statistics show that one in every three accidents on the road involve a company vehicle then is it evident something needs to be done to reduce risk in this area.

    Why do your drivers need training?

    Depending on the age of your driver, they will have possibly taken different forms of driving test and may well have learnt different skills. For example, the theory element of a driving test was first introduced in 1996 and the computerised hazard perception part came into place in 2002 and a driving test now also includes ‘show me, tell me’ questions.

    Statistics show that accident rates for new drivers since 1996 have reduced by 11%, indicating that the more in-depth testing and training has had a positive effect on safety. A driving course can be used therefore to fill the void of gaps in training that has either never been taught or perhaps forgotten or perhaps bad habits have crept in over time.

    Often you will find that over time, drivers will struggle with knowledge on the Highway Code as they don’t tend to read it again or keep up with current road laws. This is another reason why top-up courses are a good idea for drivers who are on the road on a regular basis.

    What types of driver training are available?

    There are many different course providers and courses available to fleets to either improve hazard perception, driving technique or knowledge of the highway code. Training courses can be either practical, online, or classroom-based. Many providers can even offer online risk assessment to find gaps in skills and highlight areas for improvement and carefully target which course matches the individual driver’s needs. By focusing on individual needs of drivers and choosing a course relevant to their skills gap you will reduce the risk of alienating staff by making them complete something unnecessary.

    Hazard perception is key to avoiding incidents

    Being aware and able to quickly pick up on potential hazards, anticipate traffic movement, and adjust your driving style accordingly can have a huge impact on fleet safety. It has been identified that most accidents will happen when a driver hasn’t spotted the warning signs and potential dangers. Good hazard perception will mean that the driver is aware of the potential dangers around them and this can be taught by highlighting what to look out for and exactly how to behave in different situations on the road depending on the type of vehicle you drive.

    Driver training should not be considered as an expense but as a good return on investment. Often investing in driver training can also see contributions such as a 5-15% drop in insurance premiums and 20-22% drop in accident rate. If you consider on top of this the potential cost of repairs, insurance excesses, driver downtime and claim handling time, the immediate drop in accidents following driver training more than pays for itself.

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