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Five steps to becoming a better driver

If your company operates multiple vehicles during the course of normal business, there is one variable you can’t account for. When it comes to trucks or company cars, an effective maintenance programme is straightforward to establish and carry out. But the people who get behind the wheel are harder to account for.

As a fleet manager, you can install a number of driver aids from specialist suppliers such as Brigade, including reversing cameras and object detectors. But these five tips will also help you mitigate against inevitable human error.

1 Educate your drivers

As Phil Moser, vice president of Advanced Driver Training Services tells, “If a driver receives safe driving instruction, criteria for driver accountability can be established. Accountability is crucial in creating a safe driving culture within any organisation.” Arming your company’s drivers with best practices on the road will reduce the instances of collisions, either between other vehicles or objects. Perception will be increased, while the speed of thought needed to act correctly in certain situations will be boosted. By educating drivers, you’ll encourage them to take greater responsibility for their driving.

2 Establish a thorough induction programme for new starters

New drivers are statistically more likely to have a motor accident than more experienced fleet drivers - and that’s to be expected when you consider that they’re juggling a new job, unfamiliar vehicles and unexplored routes. Often a company induction will teach new employees only what they need to do to accomplish their job tasks. What’s often forgotten is that overloading new company drivers while under-preparing them raises the risk of costly or even dangerous accidents occurring. Better to spend more time and money at the outset ensuring your drivers take to the roads in the safest manner possible.

3 Identify your at-risk drivers

Many companies report that the majority of fleet incidents involve only a small fraction of the workforce. By tracking the logs of your company’s drivers, you’ll be able to build up an accurate picture of their on-the-road habits. Those more prone to prangs and collisions can be offered in-depth retraining in an effort to remedy any bad practices.

4 Curb in-vehicle distractions

When your drivers are confused or distracted, both they and their vehicles are more susceptible to an accident. The key causes of such distractions are getting lost and disorientated in an unfamiliar area, and interacting with a mobile device on the move (often to try and find directions). To cut down on this, and to increase not only safety but the speed with which your drivers reach their destinations, consider a customised commercial sat-nav system that highlights low bridges, one-way streets and approach roads for delivery. Speech-to-text technology, meanwhile, will help drivers keep both hands on the wheel while communicating with colleagues.

5 Reward safe drivers
Aviva recently launched a campaign based around a safe driving app, which scores drivers based on how responsibly they drive and rewards those with high ratings by giving them money off their car insurance. You could introduce similar systems by using telematics technology to monitor how each vehicle is driven. Focus on a different safety metric each week or month and reward the best performing drivers.


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