Graham Hurdle blog: 27 February - How do we stop the domino effect?
27 February 2015
Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World
Department for Transport statistics released on 5 Feb reveal that road deaths, KSI (killed or seriously injured) casualties and casualties of all severities rose in the 12-month period ending September 2014, compared with the corresponding period in 2013.
The DfT bulletin shows that the number of road deaths (1,730) increased by 1% and KSI casualties (24,360) by 4%. In addition, child KSI casualties rose by 3% over this period. In the same period there were 192,910 reported road casualties of all severities, an increase of 5%. A 2% increase in motor traffic levels means the overall casualty rate per vehicle mile increased by 3% for the period.\
Many road safety campaigners consider the increase in KSI casualties to be based on the following reasons:
- An increase in traffic volume as the economy grows.
- The lack of traffic police on our roads having a direct impact on levels of Road Safety.
- The lack of focus that the current Government has shown towards Road Safety.
Whilst these can be seen as valid reasons for the increase, I believe we must also consider other contributing factors.
All road crashes are made up of a number of components. If any one of these components is removed, or modified, the crash is far less likely to happen. In my days as a driver trainer, I used a row of dominos to explain this.
Each domino represents one element of a crash. The first domino could be a lack of sleep, the second domino could be running late, the third domino a lack of concentration (perhaps due to the first two dominos) and so on - until you get to the last domino which is the actual crash.
The number of dominos, and what each one represents, varies with each crash, and I've always believed, the earlier in the chain of events a domino is removed the greater chance the crash can be avoided.
If we look at what the Government has done to tackle the various chains of events that lead to accidents, I find it hard to recall many - apart from installing speed cameras, which bring mixed opinion regarding their effectiveness. The domino that represents 'speed' is not as the Government would wish us to believe, the only reason we crash.
My plea to this, and the next Government, is to invest in Road Safety and lets focus on identifying the real dominos that lead to the most crashes - then seek to eliminate them.
Companies can also do their bit by looking at their accident records and seeing what the domino effect was for each of their drivers. The starting point for this is post-accident awareness training - ensuring drivers take time at the accident scene (if they can) to gather as much evidence as to what happened as possible. Post accident interviews are also essential to unravel what led to the incident.
That way, better and more relevant investment can be made in training that will reduce accidents for at-work drivers.