A large body of research demonstrates that the main contributor to work related road traffic crashes is the behaviour of individual drivers. That’s why an essential first step in any programme to reduce crashes is to understand the specific behaviours that place drivers at risk.
Based on research conducted by the Driving Research Group at Cranfield University and DriverMetrics®, here are 5 high risk driver behaviours to focus on as part of your driver safety programme:
1 – Driver fatigue
Long shifts, short sleeps and being unable or reluctant to take a break can all contribute to fatigue and increase crash risk.
2 – Speeding
Driving too fast is a main contributing factor for work-related crashes. There is a positive relationship between increased vehicle speeds and injury severity with excessive speed being a predictor of fatal crash involvement.
3 – Time pressure
A combination of issues, including personality, motivation and organisational influences can make a driver feel pressured for time and increase risk taking and crash involvement rates.
4 – Distractions
A wide range of distractions, inside and outside the vehicle can greatly increase the risk of crash involvement. This includes ‘internal’ distractions such as thinking about work while driving
5 – Mobile Phones
Using mobile devices whilst driving, whether hand-held or hands-free is a major factor in collision risk.
Whilst these five factors offer a useful guide, it’s important to keep in mind that every driver differs in terms of their proneness to specific behaviours.
Consider using a research validated, behaviour based driver risk assessment such as the DriverMetrics Profiling to identify individual differences and pinpoint the specific behaviours that are contributing to each persons risk of a crash.
Using the detailed driver risk profiles produced following a driver risk assessment, you can target training interventions – such as e-learning, workshops and in-vehicle training – at the most critical risk factors for each driver. This targeted approach has been show to be much more effective than simply applying a ‘one size fits all’ approach to driver training.