Graham Hurdle's blog: 20 September 2013 - Never has a survey summed up a problem for fleet operators better
20 September 2013
Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World
I've always advocated that poor driving is caused by poor attitude. Change drivers' attitudes and you'll see driving standards improve.
I was, therefore, reassured to read the latest survey by TomTom revealing that more than a third (39%) of UK van drivers admit to driving more carefully when using their personal vehicle compared to their company provided one.
The research, conducted among light commercial vehicle drivers, found 67% of those did so to save money on fuel and vehicle wear and tear and 29% because of the absence of working time pressures.
In addition, 59% said they were more likely to speed or take risks in their work vehicles as a result of working time pressures.
The harsh reality is that many companies my colleagues and I encounter from across the UK are suffering some horrendous accident rates. It's costing them an incredible amount of time and money and they're not taking enough action.
The reason being, that many act once and expect the problem to go away. Yet a single driver training course, whether online or in-vehicle, will not solve the problem forever.
The fact is, poor driving practices in company vehicles are caused by reasons beyond just ability, and the TomTom survey endorses this.
Poor attitude, a lack of respect for the vehicle, a view that any problems or excessive forms of driving won't cost the driver personally, a culture that knocks, scrapes and the odd incident here and there are 'inevitable' aspects of a busy driver's life, all contribute to the problem.
A company vehicle driver that scrapes the side of their car or van will often report it to the fleet manager and hardly give it any more thought. Scratch or dent their own personal car at home, and have to suffer the cost and inconvenience of sorting it out, and they're mortified!
Well done to TomTom for bringing some raw evidence to this argument. And I'd urge all fleet operators to consider changing the culture towards driving within their organisation if they hope to see a sustained improvement in driving standards.