Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Graham Hurdle's Blog: 3 December 2013 - We're only human, you know
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Graham Hurdle's Blog: 3 December 2013 - We're only human, you know

Date: 03 December 2013

Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World

I met a middle aged lady the other day who was due to attend a speed awareness course. She said she had been caught doing 37mph in a 30 limit.

She explained that it was not her fault, as she felt she was being forced to break the speed limit by an impatient driver behind her.

As a road safety professional you would expect me to say there can be no excuse for speeding, but as a driver I know we're all human and have all been in situations where we have felt that we were being pushed to go faster by pursuant drivers.

Most people find this stressful and, while in this state of mind, may make decisions that are out of character.

If the lady was being honest about why she was speeding (and I have no reason to doubt that she wasn't) then her decision to speed, after being influenced by the following driver, had four possible outcomes!

1 - she doesn't get caught and isn't involved in a crash.

2 - she gets caught and is sent on a speed awareness course.

3 - she gets caught and receives a fine and points on her licence

4 - she is involved in a crash and is charged with a 'more serious' offence than speeding. If someone is killed or seriously injured, this could result in imprisonment.

So what is the difference between outcome number one and outcome number four? The answer is just luck.

If you take this scenario in the corporate sector, no company car or van driver sets out in the morning to get involved in an accident. In fact, most people think they are good drivers and see crashes as things that other people get involved in.

Yet all drivers make mistakes and reach bad decisions. Most often, they get away with these mistakes and bad decisions - perhaps with the occasional near miss or moment when they just managed to avoid a collision.

But for every bad decision taken or mistake made, every driver is heightening their chances of being involved in an incident.

Reduce the number of bad decisions or mistakes and the probabilities of having an accident fall.

It's ironic that someone walking down the street won't walk under a ladder, but they'll drive at 70mph closely behind the car in front on the motorway with absolutely no chance of avoiding an accident if the car in front stops.

I've said this a thousand times, and I'll say it again. Accidents don't 'happen'. They are caused by driver's making mistakes or poor decisions.

The lady I met only ended up on a speed awareness course for her bad judgement, but it could have been worse.

So what's the probability of your drivers having an accident today?