Fleet News

Driver ‘humility’ is key to safe driving

RESEARCH has discovered that motorists who take more personal responsibility for on-the-road incidents and do not blame others are safer drivers – and that this humility is only achieved by behind-the-wheel training.

The benefits to fleets of putting employees through advanced driver training are highlighted in a major new study.

The study by Brunel University in West London found that drivers who relied on their basic L-test were more likely to blame others when they were involved in incidents or minor accidents.

And it added that previous research suggested that drivers who were quick to blame others for near-misses, rather than taking responsibility for their own part, were more likely to be involved in a serious accident.

The study was commissioned by the Institute of Advanced Motorists to examine the influence of advanced coaching on drivers’ attitudes, skills and knowledge.

Three groups, each with 25 drivers, made up the study and were observed at the wheel for more than 650 hours and over 15 months. Participants who had undertaken advanced driver training were 60% less likely to blame other motorists for causing damage.

Neville Stanton, professor of human factors at Brunel University, who led the research, said: ‘This is the first research of its kind and the results are telling.

‘The performance of those who did not receive coaching was erratic, but those who were coached showed marked improvements in the three main areas of driving – skills, knowledge and attitude.

‘These three skills are interdependent – when all three are improved, a driver is likely to be safer. It’s as simple as that.’

The study found that coached drivers had vastly enhanced driving skills, with almost 70% having improved their basic skills in gear changing, cornering and speed.

Peter Rodger, chief examiner of IAM, said: ‘This research lays to rest the old joke that advanced driving is all about where you position your hands on the steering wheel. It shows the value of lifelong learning in motoring.’

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