Fleets need to gear drivers up for increasingly demanding driving conditions
The call comes in advance of the 75th anniversary of the driving test in the UK, which was first introduced on 1 June 1935. While the UK's roads and road conditions have changed dramatically since then, the IAM says that the driving test has remained broadly similar – as such, fleet driver training is needed to help ensure drivers' safety on the roads.
Simon Elstow, IAM Drive & Survive head of training, said: 'There are more cars on the road than ever before, and the driving environment is becoming more complicated. Our culture has become increasingly fast paced, everything is done "on the move". Business drivers tend to travel many miles, often while tired and stressed, with the regular distraction of the "mobile office". Our driving tests, however, have changed little over the years, and an improvement in driving standards is needed to fill the gap.
'Although cars are becoming easier to drive – with much improved brakes and suspension as well as power steering and a host of safety systems – traffic has significantly increased and traffic networks have become immensely more complex, so the business driver needs far more understanding of what’s going on outside the car,' he said.
The IAM also says that it wants to see a rural road element being incorporated into the driving test, as it is not currently compulsory. In the UK 71% of road deaths occur on rural roads.
'It is improving the driver which will make the single biggest improvement to road safety in the future, and drivers need to take it upon themselves to adopt a lifelong learning approach,' added Mr Elstow.