3 Key Questions to Help Reduce Driver Collisions

If you have been reading our blog for a while, you will know that there is a large academic literature of empirical evidence demonstrating that the main contributor to crashes is the driver – with high risk driver behaviours contributing to over 90% of incidents. The implication is clear  – in order to reduce the risk of crash involvement for your workforce you need to focus on  driver behaviour.

My colleagues in the DriverMetrics® research team suggest that you ask these 3 fundamental questions  when developing a behaviour based driver risk management strategy:

1) Which drivers are at risk from high risk behaviours?

The first stage in an effective driver risk management strategy is to understand the different overall risk levels of drivers in your workforce. An evidence based, online driver risk assessment such as the Driver Risk Index™ will enable you to segment your drivers based on high, medium and low risk scores. For organisations with  large fleets or urgent safety issues; overall risk scores enable a broad segmentation of drivers to inform training interventions.

2) What specific driver behaviours are causing the risk for drivers?

Whilst making decisions based on overall risk scores is  useful, you should combine this with an insight into specific behavioural risk factors. For example, each Driver Risk Index™ profile report provides risk scores across up to 12 behavioural factors that our research demonstrates are predictive of risk for the type of driver assessed.

The benefit of focusing on  specific risk factors is that instead of implementing a ‘one size fits all’ approach to training interventions, you can  focus on the specific behaviours that put  each individual driver at risk. For example, adapting the content of training interventions to reflect differences between say, drivers that are high risk due to low levels of confidence and those who are prone to aggressive behaviours under stress, will result in a  more effective training intervention.

3) How can we change high risk driver behaviours?

Once you have a clear understanding of  which drivers are at risk and why, you need to implement the most appropriate training interventions to reduce risk. A range of methods have been shown to be effective in reducing behavioural risk including in-car driver coaching; workshops and e-learning. However, whichever method you choose, to reap the maximum benefit from this approach,  it is essential to take account of how drivers score against the range of risk factors and to target the intervention accordingly.