Mike Waters' blog: 13 December 2013 - Education, education, education
13 December 2013
Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company.
There's a myth that drivers have to re-take their test when they get to 70 years old.
This isn't actually true as all they have to do is renew it, however many would argue that for pensioners it should be the case.
It's likely to have been a long time since they passed their test and much will have changed between then and now such as road layouts, volume of traffic and vehicle technology.
However, when you think about it, that argument could apply to the majority of drivers - certainly anyone who passed their test more than a decade ago.
Modern driving lessons and the driving test are not the same as they were because things change. The roads are different and conventional best practice moves on. This means that from an efficiency and safety perspective, most drivers won't be at their optimum because they have not been taught the latest techniques.
I'm not suggesting that we should all be retested, or that we should all get the Highway Code back out and start studying. But it is a compelling reason for companies to look at driver training, particularly for high-mileage or high-risk drivers.
It's especially pertinent with more and more new vehicle technologies entering the market. Many of them have the potential to deliver great efficiency but only if the driver behaves in the optimum way.
Changing gear at the right time, utilising regenerative braking and using the accessories on the vehicle sparingly all makes a difference.
Get it right and drivers can save money, reduce their environmental impact, and cut their road risk at the same time.
Although many safe and efficient practices are very simple and well within the abilities of most of us, drivers can't be expected to use them if they have never been shown.
Technology, behaviour and modern motoring moves on and we have to learn as we go.
In the main this is fine, but to sharpen us up, a bit of education can go a long way, and the best drivers are those with access to the latest and best driving techniques.