POWER OF DATA BLOG

Prevention is the Best Cure

Changing Driver Behavior
Jun 07/2016 Published by:

Drivers of specialist vehicles are often highly experienced in what they do, but many common manoeuvres and driving practices become much more critical when operating larger, heavier vehicles. All drivers can benefit from more training, but commercial drivers of heavy vehicles must take extra precautions to stay safe.

A recent AXA Business Insurance report[1] looked into the types of incidents that UK van drivers are more likely to be involved in compared to an average motorist. The study was based on police crash reports and found that van drivers – who receive varying levels of training – are much more likely to crash when performing U-turns, changing lanes and driving on the motorway. The report also found that van drivers are 47% more likely to contribute to an accident due to following too closely, 23% more likely due to tiredness, 16% due to observation errors and 9% due to distractions.

Identifying and preventing risky driver behaviour is key to making our roads safer. Technology can help fleet managers to identify the real root causes of risky driving behaviour and provide coaching to help their drivers recognise the risks and learn how to avoid those behaviours, helping them to become safer and much less likely to be involved in future incidents.

Of course, not all collisions are avoidable. When a collision does occur it is vital that it is managed quickly and effectively. Ideally, information about the incident should be captured from the vehicle and analysed by experts. This information can confirm what was happening inside and outside of the vehicle to clarify whether the collision was a result of driver error, risky driving or was totally unavoidable. This will help identify if any driver coaching is required and could also help to exonerate the driver if the collision wasn’t their fault. Multiple studies have shown that 90% of all collisions are caused by human error, therefore understanding risky behaviour and addressing it with proactive coaching is crucial to preventing future incidents..

Commercial drivers are amongst the best drivers on road. The AXA Business Insurance study found that van drivers’ experience meant that they were 74% less likely to be involved in an incident than other motorists due to nervous driving, 29% less likely due to control errors and 20% less likely due to speed choices.

The best way to address the types of collisions they are likely to be involved in is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Even the most experienced driver can pick up bad habits, but an effective video-based driver safety programme will identify these risks and enable businesses to apply the appropriate coaching, improving the driver’s safety and making the roads safer for everyone.

[1] http://www.axa.co.uk/newsroom/media-releases/2014/new-study-offers-unique-insight-into-crashes-on-britains-roads-stark-warnings-about-dangerous-van-driving/


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