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Graham Hurdle blog: 7 July - Are your drivers better or worse than average?

Date: 07 July 2015

Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World

There are two cultural problems with drivers. 

1. Virtually all drivers believe they are better than average.

2. Very few take criticism well.

If you'd like to test this, next time you're in a car with a work colleague say you think they are a below average driver and see how they react!

Without profiling drivers, however, you will never know who is above or below average. More importantly you won't know which drivers are most likely to have an accident, nor how many across your fleet are at greatest risk.

I continue to encounter companies who use an 'accident' as the trigger to provide a driver with some form of training. Some also use accident rates as the only real measure of a driver's risk profile.

But this is like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

Worse still, even after a crash many drivers will still maintain that their driving is OK, that they weren't at fault, that the incident couldn't have been avoided and many will still not accept feedback that their driving needs improving.

That is why driver profiling is so vital; giving you objective and impartial data to base decisions on, offer feedback to drivers and be pro-active in how you reduce the level of incidents across your fleet.

It also enables you to benchmark yourself as a fleet. Most systems on the market, ours included, offer some form of dashboard reporting that enable fleet managers to compare the risk profile of their fleet against the system average. As measures are taken to reduce accidents, you can also see whether the risk profile now is better than it was before.

Armed with that information, fleet managers find it easier to work with drivers to implement initiatives, pitch for more budget from the Board based on hard facts, rather than gut instinct, and show insurers how the profile of company risk is being managed.

The good news is, we are seeing driver profiling becoming much more of a 'norm' across fleet operators. With data at their disposal, companies are making better decisions, enjoying greater acceptance from drivers and pinpointing more accurately than ever before where to invest their training budgets.

If you are responsible for running a fleet, but don't yet offer profiling, why not drop us an email and you can take the assessment yourself. We'll then tell you whether you are above or below the national average and what you should expect for a fleet of your size.

The average driver really enjoys, and benefits, from the whole profiling process, and feedback tells us that they learn a great deal from it. But then again, who is average nowadays?