Fleet News

Driver testing is too easy-PC

A RISK management expert has lambasted simplistic driver assessment packages that ask basic highway code questions children are taught at school.

Jeremy Hay, chief executive of Essential Risk Consultancy, said five of seven assessments he looked at did not come up to scratch and failed to address key issues such as behavioural and psychological factors.

The firm does not market its own driver assessment product.

Hay said: ‘We did a test for a client on various driver assessments. We found a number of them that driver trainers had put together were very basic and had no psychological basis.

‘They are saying things like ‘what do you do at a green light?’. That’s a Highway Code question – how do you test the attitude?’

Hay called for driver assessments to feature psychometric evaluations that look psychologically at how a driver would react in certain situations.

He said they were harder to fool and more likely to give an accurate assessment of risk. ‘With the psychological tests, if someone lies to you, you know they’ve lied,’ Hay explained. ‘You need to look at a much bigger picture.

‘They don’t do what they are claiming to do. Ask who designed their assessment and you find the driver training guy designed it. He knows lots about driver training but doesn’t understand risk.’

Hay warned that firms are putting themselves at risk if they use a driver assessment that does not make the grade.

He said: ‘People are rushing into solutions and they are not thinking what the problem is in the first place. I’m getting more and more cheesed off with people buying the wrong solutions and handling it in the wrong way. It’s going to be a disaster some day.’

Hay’s comments came as Cranfield University and Peak Performance launched their new psychometrics-based assessment, the Fleet Driver Risk Index, which does focus on behaviour rather than knowledge.

The product was based on 20 years of research into driver psychology by Dr Lisa Dorn, presenter of TV’s Road Rage School.

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