Many businesses are missing out on opportunities to improve road safety for their drivers by relying on technology alone to solve the problem for them, according to IAM RoadSmart.
Following the publication of its latest whitepaper, Driver Education – What More Can Be Learned – the road safety charity is also calling for driver retests, an end to lifetime driver licences and for driver training to be a life-long continuous process, rather than a one-off session.
The charity states that many companies “check that their drivers have the appropriate licences and feel that their responsibility ends there. In some cases they may employ technology to monitor driver behaviour, but typically this is used more as a way of maximising operational efficiency as opposed to improving safety.”
“Perhaps we should require people to retake their test after a certain number of years? There is a growing belief that we should,” said Tony Greenidge, IAM RoadSmart Business Development Director. “I cannot think of another single task as difficult, complex, important or as dangerous as driving on business, where quite literally, you can perform well for just an hour of your life – during the driving test – and that’s all that’s required for the next 60 years or more. Given the rapid changes in technology, legislation and congestion this just does not seem logical.”
The report states that: “It is well known that the standard driving test is designed to check whether a driver’s skill meets a minimum standard, but this does not necessarily prepare drivers for real-world scenarios.”
The dangers of relying purely on technology are also considered in the report; in many cases driving issues identified are not followed up with an appropriate and proactive driver training intervention. The report states: “Technology is often relied upon to provide a solution to poor driving. In itself however, it rarely influences driver behaviour or attitudes.”
The report concludes that the benefits to improving the performance of those who drive on business can deliver massive cost savings for a very small level of investment.