Fleets warned of implications of categorising high-risk drivers wrongly
According to Graham Hurdle, managing director of online risk assessment and e-driver training specialist E-Training World, many firms that automatically identify their at-work drivers as high risk due to points on their licence, a recent accident or even because they haven’t had their eyes tested recently could be spending out on training unnecessarily whilst missing the drivers that really do pose a high risk.
Hurdle said: ‘We often come across companies who undertake risk assessments but find that their drivers have been classed as high risk based on one or two opening questions.
‘By stating that they fall into certain categories, such as points on their licence or not having had their eyes tested in the last year, causes some systems to instantly mark that driver as high risk and, subsequently, put them forward for on-road training.’
The reality, added Hurdle, is that genuinely high-risk drivers are less safe on our roads due to factors such as poor hazard perception skills, a lack of observation, poor knowledge and a bad attitude.
‘Put it this way, would you feel more or less safe in a car driven by someone with three points on their licence but otherwise seems to be driving perfectly okay than someone who you constantly thought wasn’t noticing dangerous hazards and had little idea of what road signs meant?’
Looking at the negative implications of assessing drivers wrongly, he said: ‘Not only are businesses focusing additional training on the wrong people, they are also overspending on defensive driver training. In fact if more than 10 to 15% of fleet drivers are coming out high risk I would challenge why.
‘In addition, managers are in danger of disengaging their drivers from the overall duty of care process, because many perfectly good drivers who are being told they are high risk and require training feel aggrieved and then blame the risk process. This develops into negative in-house publicity and can lead to a large majority of drivers not buying into a very important area for any fleet department.’