Graham Hurdle's blog: 10 January 2013 - There's not enough pressure on drivers to change their behaviour
10 January 2013
Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World
What behaviours attract the greatest disapproval within businesses?
Theft of, or damage to company property? Senior management indulging in illicit relationships with members of staff? Corporate bullying? Conducting business behind your employer's back?
I'm sure these are the types of behaviour that most people would cite as being on their taboo list if asked.
However you'll notice I haven't added texting at the wheel, making calls on mobile phones whilst driving or speeding to the list.
Yet I've just read the survey by Brake and Direct Line revealing that 31% of at-work drivers admit to texting at the wheel.
Furthermore, 17% admit to grooming whilst driving, 37% to talking on a hands-free mobile phone, 54% to speeding in 60mph limits and 76% going more than 5mph over the limit in a 30 zone.
The figures are shocking but, dare I say, unsurprising.
Culturally, we haven't reached the stage yet whereby members of staff who behave in this way feel a sense of disapproval or peer group pressure from colleagues to change.
Whilst we talk about the importance of risk management in the fleet sector, we tend to look at it from the perspective of the law, and how it affects a company's cost base.
Yet the harsh reality is that we are still waiting for that cultural shift in order for real change to take place.
I've said before that smoking in public is a great example of a cultural shift.
Ten years ago, if someone lit a cigarette in a pub, restaurant or the workplace no-one would have batted an eyelid.
Now if that happened there would be instant disapproval from those in the room and the smoker would be forced to stop.
You may say it's illegal to smoke in public places and this stops people from doing it, yet it's also illegal to text whilst driving and to speed and so the only difference is people's perceptions in creating change.
While I'm hopeful that in 2013 we will see further improvements in the way people drive in the corporate sector, I'm certain that we will not see a dramatic shift until drivers feel the strength of disapproval from colleagues that makes them wish to stop.
And while I will continue to do my bit to champion road safety, I'm sad to say that we seem a long way off that happening.
Follow BusinessCar on TWITTER.