Driving is one of the most dangerous work activities, and contributes to far more work-related accidental deaths and serious injuries than nearly all other work activities combined.
Estimates suggest that more than a quarter of all UK road traffic incidents may involve somebody who was driving as part of their work and that every year, on average, over 500 people are killed (almost a third of all road deaths) and 45,000 are injured in collisions involving drivers or riders who are driving for work.
This includes other road users, at-work drivers and riders. In fact, most of those killed on work-related journeys are actually passengers, pedestrians and riders rather than at-work drivers or riders.
There are many reasons for these accidents but almost all of them are caused by, or involve, human error, with factors including carelessness, thoughtlessness, reckless driving, inappropriate speed, failure to look properly, a loss of control, poor judgement, failure to give way, poor turning or manoeuvring and inattention or distraction.
There are actions that fleet operators can take to mitigate the risk of their drivers being involved in an accident. Policies, procedures and risk assessments enable you to understand how your drivers might use the road. They identify the risks to your drivers and others, and highlight the potential consequences of those risks and the measures needed to manage and reduce risk and recurrence.
But as much as they can be useful they're often used to indicate compliance or simply to 'tick a box' and often these documents are not used in the way they were originally intended; to encourage behavioural change and improve the safety standards of drivers.
A significant measure you can take is to perform a practical assessment of your drivers' ability. Very few fleet operators actually check, in a practical way, a candidates' ability to drive during the interview process, which is crazy when you consider the size and weight of, for example, a 44 tonne truck.
Apathy can also kick in with regard to more established drivers, with the false assumption that experience equals higher quality driving. But bad habits or complacency can occur at any time, and usually over time!
To counter this very real issue, we created a driver assessment that can be used by anyone who has experience of driving a vehicle. Actually witnessing how your drivers work, drive and manage situations will help you to reduce risk, improve performance and work more safely in a very pragmatic way.
It's designed for any type of fleet operator, so regardless whether you have one or two van drivers or a whole team of professional truck or bus drivers, it gives you insight that you can use to improve safety standards and reduce fuel costs. It's structured to address attitude, awareness, ability and judgement, and begins in the yard or car park, continues throughout the journey and concludes once the vehicle is parked.
It can be used with other Easyfleetr products to enhance safety and reduce risk, so if you're considering hiring a driver, using an agency driver or verifying driver technique then check out our new assessment!