Campaign highlights common driver risk management mistakes
17 November 2021
Author: Sean Keywood
A new initiative highlighting common mistakes in the area of driver risk management has been launched by the Driving for Better Business (DfBB) campaign.
It includes the publication of more than a dozen freely-available videos, recorded during a three-day conference, designed to pull together all the key strands of managing road risk.
They feature a range of experts providing practical advice for fleets, including a presentation by Kanwal Kanda, who heads up the Health and Safety Executive's transport sector, on recently revised guidance for organisations with employees who drive for work.
Commenting with the launch of the initiative, DfBB campaign manager Simon Turner said the mistakes most commonly made by fleet managers included failing to comply with duty of care legislation - mainly through lack of awareness and gaps in understanding responsibilities among certain levels of employees - and not having proper vehicle defect systems in place.
On the latter point, Turner said: "One in three cars and half of all vans fail their MOT at the first attempt.
"If the vehicle hasn't been checked on the day of the MOT, you can bet it wasn't checked on the other 364 days."
Another common mistake is said to be failing to identify high-risk drivers, with the campaign citing an example of a driver who had 54 points on his licence but was allowed to keep driving by a judge. It says fleets can avoid this by conducting pre-employment checks, collecting collision records and making use of telematics data on driving style.
Other common mistakes are said to be relying on different data sets that are not integrated, creating the risk of spotting gaps only when an incident occurs, and having a lack of appropriate management information. Turner advised: "Set baselines from which to improve. If you're not measuring it and not monitoring it, you're not managing it."
Other topics covered by the campaign include understanding some of the key causes of crashes, including driver fatigue and impairment from drink or drugs, as well as issues related to HGV and van fleet management.
DfBB - a UK Government-backed campaign by National Highways (formerly known as Highways England) - has highlighted how company directors can be liable to prosecution if anything goes wrong with driver risk management.
It has also pointed out that 40,000 injury-causing collisions a year involve those driving for work, and that this figure rises to 65,000 if commuters are included.
Turner said: "With around 20 million vehicles being used for business journeys, including trucks, vans, company cars and grey fleet, that means every at-work driver has a 1 in 500 chance of being in a fatal or serious injury collision.
"Our mission is to improve compliance for all those who drive or ride for work by demonstrating the significant business benefits of managing work-related road risk more effectively."