Incorrect ‘high-risk’ driver assessment plaguing fleets

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 11:30
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Fleets could be wasting huge money on training by incorrectly assessing drivers as high-risk, an industry expert has warned.

Graham Hurdle, Managing Director of E-Training World, claims many companies could be identifying the wrong drivers for additional instruction, by using ineffective methods of deduction.

According to Mr Hurdle, many firms automatically identify high-risk at-work drivers using licence points or a recent accident as an indicator – and thus could be misdirecting their resources.

“We often come across companies who undertake risk assessments but find that their drivers have been classed as high risk based on one or two opening questions,” he said.

“By stating that they fall into certain categories, such as points on their licence or not having had their eyes tested in the last year, causes some systems to instantly mark that driver as high risk and, subsequently, put them forward for on-road training.”

“Not only are businesses focusing additional training on the wrong people, they are also overspending on defensive driver training.”

Graham Hurdle, E-Training World

The reality, added Mr Hurdle, is that genuinely high-risk drivers are less safe on our roads due to factors such as poor hazard perception and observation skills, poor knowledge or bad attitudes.

“Put it this way, would you feel more or less safe in a car driven by someone with three points on their licence but otherwise seems to be driving perfectly okay than someone who you constantly thought wasn’t noticing dangerous hazards and had little idea of what road signs meant?” he added.

“Not only are businesses focusing additional training on the wrong people, they are also overspending on defensive driver training.

“In fact if more than 10-15% of fleet drivers are coming out high risk I would challenge why.

“In addition, managers are in danger of disengaging their drivers from the overall duty of care process, because many perfectly good drivers who are being told they are high risk and require training feel aggrieved and then blame the risk process.

“This develops into negative in-house publicity and can lead to a large majority of drivers not buying into a very important area for any fleet department.”

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