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Managing Your Road Risk To Save Lives And Reduce Costs
By Caroline Perry, NZ Director, Brake
Drivers, Vehicles, and Journeys It’s important to implement measures that address all aspects of road risk: • Drivers – including recruitment, induction, training and ongoing assessment/monitoring. • Vehicles – from procurement through to maintenance/ servicing and exit from the fleet. • Journeys – plan journeys and scheduling to reduce risk and even overall distance travelled. Using Technology Technology is evolving at a rapid pace and there is an increasing number of systems available that aim to improve vehicle and driver safety. These include Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), capable of identifying safety-critical situations and either warning the driver to take action, or taking direct control of the vehicle to correct the danger. Many organizations have implemented telematics systems, which typically track driver behaviour and vehicle performance, such as recording instances of speeding, harsh braking and cornering, and including GPS navigation. Simply putting a system in place isn’t enough however; as with recording incidents, the data needs to be analyzed and used to target interventions appropriately. We’re also seeing systems expanded to include newer technology such as Driver Distraction and Drowsiness Recognition (DDDR), to identify distraction and fatigue at the wheel. Telematics companies are also using gamification to engage drivers in improving their own behavior on the road. This enables drivers to compete against each other, or against other teams, within their own organization and externally, to be the safest driver. The development of connected and autonomous vehicles is also creating further opportunities to improve safety. However increased technology and automation also presents challenges, such as the potential for increased driver distraction in the vehicle. Rewarding and Penalizing There are benefits to rewarding good driving as well as penalising poor driver behaviour. The data you collect and systems you have in place should help you to identify low and high-risk drivers and target interventions accordingly. If drivers are identified as high risk, or involved in an incident, this should be addressed e.g. a meeting with their manager to discuss why the incident happened and how it could be avoided in future, or through additional training. Some organizations use competitions to help incentivize drivers, for example a team that has no over-speeds in a monthly period is given a free lunch. Others reward individual drivers, for example a gift voucher for the safest driver each month or quarter. There are lots of potential measures to implement, but even if you’re a small fleet with limited budget there are simple things you can do to start addressing your risk, such as gaining senior management buy-in, writing a fleet safety policy and looking at the data you collect, to help you analyze your risk and create targeted interventions. Where organizations are implementing measures to address safety, many are seeing convincing results, reducing the number of incidents and costs involved, and most importantly, helping to save lives and reduce injuries on roads. Brake is a road safety charity working to prevent road deaths and injuries and make communities safer and providing free support to families affected by crashes. Brake administers Global Fleet Champions, a global campaign to prevent crashes and reduce pollution caused by vehicles used for work, by sharing best practice in road risk management.