A Higher Standard of Driver Training and Accountability

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A Higher Standard of Driver Training and Accountability

According to a study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2016, up to 94%-96% of all vehicle accidents are caused by human error. A similar study by the Stanford Law School concluded that around 90% of all vehicle accidents are caused either entirely or at least in part due to human error. Although the numbers vary from study to study, we can confidently say that the percentage of accidents caused by human error is much too large. In an industry where most of the workforce is behind the wheel, our responsibility is to hold our drivers to a higher standard of driver safety.

Now, what do we mean by that? Generic driver training, one-time onboarding, bi-annual, or even once-a-month training will not make a massive difference in your driver’s behavior. When the range of human-caused vehicle accidents is in the 90th percentile, the training mentioned above will not cut it – it is the bare minimum.

How do we do that? We do it by raising the bar of what counts as efficient and beneficial driver training and accountability in fleet safety policies.

To gain a broader perspective: within the U.S., approximately 42,915 humans lost their lives due to traffic accidents in 2021. If we look at it globally, around 1.3 million people die yearly from vehicle accidents.

It’s one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Yet, because most people have to drive every day, especially within the fleet industry, they become relaxed behind the wheel and forget the inherent danger they are in while operating a vehicle. In addition, unlike a profession like aviation, drivers are not legally required to retake tests or re-train a couple of times a year to keep driving. That leaves the responsibility of ensuring drivers are adequately trained to fleet safety and risk managers.

There are a couple of ways to do it.

Monitoring drivers through telematics alone increases driver awareness. According to VTTI, this driver awareness results in significant reductions in risky driving – however, it is unlikely that the behavioral improvement will continue without further educational and behavioral reinforcement. Traditionally, the process of driver reinforcement has been a meeting or intervention with the fleet safety or risk manager – where the driver gets pulled aside, and there is a discussion on dangerous behavior and how to fix them and potentially get assigned some driver training. In an ideal world, management intervention would be enough, but there are other factors to consider:

  • Time constraints
  • Nepotism

Time constraints. We have seen it repeatedly: managers get so busy with the other facets of the job that driver intervention falls by the wayside. However, bypassing driver intervention opens the fleet to potential accident costs, loss of lives, and negligence.

Nepotism. To ignore nepotism and favoritism in the workplace is wrong. Management should treat all employees equally, but that does not always happen. In an industry where driver intervention could be the difference between life and death, the fact that nepotism occurs must be added to the equation. If a driver has a few red flags on their telematics dashboard, a manager may be more inclined to overlook it if that driver is their favorite. Once again, opening the fleet up to a multitude of risks. Therefore, management must also be held to a higher standard of accountability for fleet safety to improve.

Research shows that interventions are unlikely to result in sustained behavioral changes without behavioral reinforcement.

That’s where the Predictive Coach comes in; Predictive Coach solves unmanaged telematics data workload and liability issues by automatically providing specific training courses based on your driver’s actual driving behavior.

Predictive Coach removes time constraints and nepotism from the equation. The software works via telematics to track dangerous driving behavior and assigns training courses relevant to the infractions to the driver.

With Predictive Coach, your fleet will experience the following:

  • 73% reduction in risky driving behaviors.
  • 63% reduction in excessive speeding.
  • 19% reduction in hard cornering.
  • Reduces/removes inherent liability when it comes to negligence in driver training
  • Reduces management workload – no longer will pulling aside every driver with an infraction aside be necessary; Predictive Coach will do it for you.
  • Save money on vehicle repairs: the safer one drives, the less wear-and-tear the vehicle experiences.
  • And more!

Holding drivers and management to a higher standard begins with accountability, appropriate driver education, and reinforcement. To learn more about how Predictive Coach can help your fleet achieve this, contact us at info@stage4.etvsoftware.com.


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