The importance of behaviour training for commercial drivers

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For fleet managers, it’s not just the technical skill of your drivers that should be a high priority. A driver’s behaviour and attitude on the road is just as important in keeping operations running smoothly. Not only does it reduce costs, it can help avoid risks of collisions and improve public perception of your business and your wider workforce.

Traditional training methods have largely focused on how well a driver can operate and manoeuvre the vehicle, without necessarily taking their attitude into account. Driver behaviour looks to improve things like snap decisions on the road and reactions towards other road users.

Telematics

While telematics systems have proven beneficial in looking at driver behaviour, they don’t give the full story. After all, a driver paying more attention to their ‘safe levels’ could end up paying less attention to the road and surrounding motorists.

Similarly, somebody who is quite calm and level-headed on the road but unfamiliar with a particular vehicle could end up being flagged for minor things like repeated heavy braking. Unless in-cab cameras are installed, there’s no way to know whether somebody is composed and attentive or distracted by their phone or a newspaper.

Attitudes

It’s human nature for us to lose our rag sometimes, but some of us are a little better at controlling our temper than others. Changing someone’s attitude isn’t particularly easy, but can be done effectively with certain courses and regular assessments. This can also be boosted by changes in business culture, by adopting better safety practices and shift patterns.

The Vulnerable Road Users course gets drivers to become cyclists for half a day to raise their awareness of other road users and their experiences. Fleet managers can also conduct regular assessments and refresher training, to keep the bad habits from creeping back in over time.

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