Graham Hurdle's Blog: 2 December 2011 - As the temperature drops, is driver training advice given the cold shoulder?
02 December 2011
Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World
One thing's for sure at this time of year; drivers will start having more accidents. In fact, ask any bodyshop owner and they will tell you that they are soon to embark on the busiest time of the year when a steady flow of vehicles comes in for repair. A surge in business reliably triggered by the declining weather.
Of course, you could say that accidents just 'happen' when the weather's bad - and so it's a fact of life that fleet operators will have to suffer higher accident costs and disruption caused by increased driver downtime.
You may also feel that the road safety bodies, who hand out their winter driving tips, are over-fussing or simply putting out their guides for PR purposes (Well, OK - there is of course an element of truth in that!).
But as a road safety professional myself, I do find it astonishing how many fleet operators choose to ignore the advice of the driver training sector and then bemoan the repair bills that come in for vehicle damage.
Because I would estimate that a very low percentage of companies either pass on the winter driving tips to their at-work drivers, or offer any form of training specifically to cope with the winter period. The upshot being that minimal pro-active intervention takes place in most organisations to reduce the accident bill during the winter months, let alone improve driver safety.
Ironic really. Because as drivers are skidding and sliding, bumping into other vehicles, damaging their cars when hitting fixed objects due to poor visibility and, worse still, being involved in more sizeable accidents due to rain, fog, snow and ice there will be other staff members, working for the same company, undertaking a training course on people management, marketing, sales or how to create charts in Excel.
One is deemed to be important enough to invest in training. The other isn't. One costs a lot of money when you get it wrong. The other doesn't. And one can cause injury and death. The other doesn't.
Maybe it's time to dig out those winter driving tips after all and send them to every driver? Better still, how about using driver training to strategically reduce your accident costs this winter and save some money because one thing is for sure, many accidents can be avoided, they don't 'just happen' and you can make a difference to your repair bill if you choose to.