POWER OF DATA BLOG

Reading between the guidelines

Changing Driver Behavior
Aug 28/2018 Published by: Lytx Lytx Telematics

Recent reports in the UK have confirmed that fleet managers have been carefully reviewing their risk management policies following revisions to Health and Safety Executive guidance in April – the first update to the guide since it was originally published in 2003.

The importance of meeting obligations to employees and other road users, not to mention corporate legal responsibilities, is key to all fleets and therefore the revisions to HSE guidance – ‘Driving at work: Managing work-related road safety’ – should not be overlooked.

This update has given fleet managers the opportunity to take a fresh look at their policies. But what many may find is that the new guidelines are based very much upon the same principles that existed in the first guide from over a decade ago.

What has changed is today’s fleet landscape, and how we can apply the HSE guidelines to the new state of play. Although recent data released by the Department of Transport (DoT) has shown that the number of serious injuries on the road decreased by 6% to 21,657 in 2013, compared to 2012, the fact remains that those who drive for work are at an increased risk of having a serious accident. The DoT data shows that at least one in four road casualties in Britain involved an at-work driver.

Although the overall number of incidents is declining, we are at a stage where advanced technology can proactively help fleet managers to not only implement the suggested policies and practices but also ensure they are followed correctly and provide coaching as necessary.

The HSE guidance promotes a ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’ approach, which includes assessing work related risks, prioritising these risks, providing training on how to control these risks, measuring the success of any steps taken and learning from experience.

In-vehicle video-based technology is perfectly suited to all of these functions. When combined with a managed service that provides fleet managers with easy-to-digest information on the hazards that their drivers face, it can allow them to identify areas that may require improvement and then assess the success of any measures taken.

Multiple studies have shown that approximately 90% of all collisions are caused by human error, therefore understanding risky behaviour, how it may manifest itself on the road and addressing it with proactive coaching is crucial to preventing future incidents. However, not all collisions are avoidable, and a major change to the fleet landscape when compared to 10 years ago is that we now have the ability to record events and analyse the actions that preceded them.

The latest in-vehicle technology can help fleet managers to quickly and effectively analyse what took place. This data should 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. The fleet manager will then be able to identify if any driver coaching is required, while the data could also help to exonerate the driver if the collision wasn’t their fault.


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