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The importance of training fleet drivers

If your business employs any drivers, you will be aware of the added risks. Instead of simply sitting in an office where the biggest threat is tripping over a wire, those who drive for a living face bigger threats as they move around and between the cities. This means that you may want to consider additional training for your company’s fleet drivers, helping to keep them safe.

At-work drivers at risk

Your colleagues who drive for work will find themselves at greater risk of car accidents than other typical commuters. This is not just because they spend more time on the road, but also because they take more risks when driving due to a pressure to adhere to schedules.

According to AA-owned DriveTech, the company that carried this research out, at-work drivers are more likely to drive while fatigued, more likely to tailgate and more likely to commit undertaking errors. They are also more likely to make errors at junctions and more likely to drive while distracted.

Correcting behaviours like these will come from a fundamental cultural change. In order to help your fleet drivers stay focused on the road, you might need to shift your business’ priorities. If drivers are reporting that they feel under pressure to meet targets and schedules – and they are putting their safety and that of others at risk as a result – your company may need to address this.

Keeping the roads safe

As we head into winter, road traffic accidents are a more prevalent threat. Insurance provider Insure The Box found that in winter, accidents increase by 20%. Shorter daylight hours and adverse weather conditions combine to make driving more dangerous. This is why, at this time of year, it becomes important to focus on driver safety.

In Northern Ireland last year, 55 people were killed in road accidents, according to NI Direct. Meanwhile, in 2017/18, the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland reported that 11 people lost their lives at work. This shows how much easier it is to suffer a fatal accident on the road than it is at work. For those whose work is done on the road, the risk is greater.

Your business has a duty of care to protect your employees. You are required to do all that is reasonably practicable to keep your workers safe. This extends to ensuring they are safe when they’re driving work vehicles too.

Consider a training scheme

In order to give your drivers the best chance of staying safe on the roads, you may want to invest in a training scheme for fleet drivers. This could help provide them with the techniques they may need to stay focused on safety while behind the wheel.

Enhanced training for your company’s drivers can give them the confidence they need to make better decisions when they’re on the road. It can also lead to savings for your business. The better and more carefully a vehicle is driven, the less fuel it will burn through and the fewer repairs it will need.

You may also want to trial a telematics programme. Gathering data about your fleet vehicles can help you analyse and evaluate how they are being driven and what problems you may need to address.

From driver safety to financial savings, your business can see real benefits from investing in driver safety training. It will certainly be something to consider going into the new year.