On Thursday 17th November we met up with VW at their offices to provide a very special day of one-on-one fleet training for a selection of their drivers as part of our way to contribute to this year’s Road Safety Week.
We wanted to help VW’s drivers gain a better understanding of the dangers of the road and help get themselves into the right mindset to avoid incidents. This is especially appropriate at this time of year due to the inclement weather with all its attendant risks, such as the buildup of rain water causing temporary flooding, ice on the roads, frost on the windscreen and other visible or hidden winter risks.
Working with VW we brought together 10 drivers, each with their own singular habits and reasons for driving on work. Some drivers were used to the long haul, others were commuters and some drove only occasionally on business.
We took the drivers out on a pre-designated route that took in a mix of road types, hazards and issues that they would normally encounter on their day-to-day driving, but also designated because they offer an environment to teach a range of techniques applicable to a wide number of scenarios. These techniques include the use of brake lights as a way of communication, how to position your vehicle for escaping potentially harmful situations, as well as positioning to open up options and gain eye contact, teaching stopping space at traffic lights, how to control what’s happening behind your vehicle and adopting a safe mindset.
What were the top three most loved and discussed pointers, I hear you ask?
Here’s our roundup:
- If there’s more paint on the road, there’s been more money spent, thus there’s a greater chance of danger
- Sit in front of or behind, but not next to, vehicles on roundabouts
- In traffic queues do you know what’s happening behind you, and, how much space are you leaving? The best position to be in is one where you can keep moving.
Of course, this is what we do for on a daily basis. But for some drivers, this type of thinking is entirely new. It’s up to us, as trainers and as those responsible for fleet risk, to give drivers the know-how to avoid incidents.
But it goes beyond training too; it’s about cultivating a whole culture of safety. Even now, there are approximately 600 deaths on the roads each year involving a driver on business. So where do you start?
First off, we’d recommend reading this fascinating article from our in-house fleet expert John Davidge on how to develop your own fleet culture.
Once you’ve devoured that, why not contact us about our fleet risk management services? We look forward to hearing from you.