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Driver training ‘key’ to ensuring continued fall in road casualty numbers

Driver training has a key role in ensuring the reduction in road casualties during the pandemic is continued into the future.

DriveTech managing director Charlie Norman

Recently published provisional data from the Department for Transport shows fatal and serious collisions in Great Britain dropped by more than a fifth (22%) in 2020. The fall is in line with the 21% decrease in road traffic over the same period, due to the pandemic.

Edmund King, AA president, has already said that we must ensure this overall reduction is not a one-off if we are to achieve zero road deaths by the end of the decade.

Now, risk management specialist DriveTech, part of the AA, has said that training could help ensure casualty figures continue to fall.

Managing director Charlie Norman said: “Last year, the way we used our roads changed dramatically, the UK workforce was no longer commuting, people weren’t travelling and everyone stayed at home where possible. This led traffic levels to drop by a significant amount and, in turn, the number of road collisions naturally reduced with it. Despite this, more than 1,400 individuals were still killed on UK roads and, while this is the lowest figure ever recorded (1,472 compared to 1,730 in 2015), there shouldn’t be any fatalities on our roads, meaning there’s still a long way to go.

“Now with drivers returning to the road following lockdown, driver training and road safety should be a priority. Businesses should be asking themselves if they have taken all the steps they can to ensure their workforce is safe on the roads. There has been a significant rise in the grey fleet – drivers who use their personal vehicle for work purposes – during the pandemic and this poses a real risk for employers who need to take responsibility.”

Norman continued: “Driver training is key to ensuring that casualty statistics continue to decrease and we achieve the target of a 50% reduction in road deaths globally by the end of this decade, we all have a responsibility to ensure the safety of our passengers, other drivers and ourselves.”

He added: “We realised, with an extended period of low or even no road usage, that drivers returning to the roads might find it strangely unfamiliar and in some instances intimidating, and that road collisions may still not be as proportionately reduced as might be hoped for. We have had great interest in our free ‘On the road again toolkit’ module to help get drivers back on the roads safely and effectively.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.

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