Fleet decision makers should not rely on technology alone as a solution to risk management or cost control, according to the latest white paper by IAM RoadSmart.
The report states that many businesses are missing out on opportunities to improve road safety for their drivers, by relying solely on technology. The white paper also calls for driver retests and an end to lifetime licences and explores the cost to businesses caused by inefficient driving.
Tony Greenidge, IAM RoadSmart business development director, said: “I cannot think of another single task as difficult, complex, important or as dangerous as driving on business, where quite literally, you can perform well for just an hour of your life - during the driving test - and that’s all that’s required for the next 60 years or more. Given the rapid changes in technology, legislation and congestion this just does not seem logical.”
In addition to improved road safety and risk management, the report also argues that ‘direct educational feedback delivered by a professionally qualified trainer’ is still the most effective way to ensure fleet drivers’ efficiency.
Greenidge said: “There is no doubt that the biggest influencer in fuel consumption is the driver’s right foot. Using an example of a driver doing 20,000 business miles per annum in a diesel vehicle, a 5mpg improvement in fuel consumption is worth around £330 a year,” it said. “Based on this simple example it is clear that small improvements in driving style and behaviour can make a big impact on cost as well as safety.”
In many instances cost is cited as a blocker to driver education programmes for employees. According to IAM RoadSmart, this is not necessarily a position which holds up to scrutiny.
“Building the business case and securing the budget for driver training can involve a very long sign-off process. This seems odd when the cost of implementing a comprehensive risk management programme can be as little as just £5 per month, per driver”, said Greenidge.
IAM RoadSmart's white paper is called Driver Education – What More Can Be Learned?