Want To Improve Your Driving? Want Your Staff Who Drive Your Fleet Cars And Vans To Be Better At Driving?
If the answer is yes then read on!
If so you have some choices. You can take training. This is always best as you get good advice and you have time to practice. Also, you will be shown where you can improve, or even be shown if you need it. Or you can model your conduct on those who know what they are doing. Learn how to become one of the good fleet drivers.
There are a few who can claim perfection when it comes to behaviour behind the wheel. But there are some drivers who know what it takes to stay safe on the roads, for themselves, their passengers and other road users.
These drivers do understand that driving is not just about obeying the rules of the road. It is all about the attitude to driving, also driving and behaving courteously, safely and attentively at all times whilst they are driving.
The rest of us need to learn from that, which can be a challenge. Learning from their behaviour, to improve our own driving behaviour. Trying to do it with or without training, means you are trying to research this for yourself or look for others. The issue with trying to see others doing it is that you will not. When was the last time you thought, “That is some wonderful driving”. We do not but can talk about the wrongs like the drivers speeding, the one who nearly crashed… But looking for good drivers does not happen because they are unseen.
I feel with driving, from the test onwards we are always looking for the bad in drivers. The driving test looks for faults. The examiners, mark you down for errors, rather than adding up all the good points.
Here Are Five Habits That You Can Start To Follow to Become One of the Good Fleet Drivers:
1. Know The Speed Limit.
This seems obvious; you would think good drivers know what speed they should be travelling at, wouldn’t you? However, this is not the case. Road signs are not always clear, they could be knocked over and not replaced, they may be covered in moss or blocked from view. Some drivers are not sure if there are basic rules also.
For instance, in an area where there are no signs visible, but there are street lights alongside the road you are in a 30mph area. There are some drivers who know the limits but choose to ignore them. The dangers are clear as day. Reduce the time to react if something unexpected happens. You have much less control over your vehicle. Driving too fast is irresponsible and you are putting yourself and others at risk! If you want to minimise the risk of an accident stick to within the speed limits.
2. Good Fleet Drivers Stay Safe Because They Focus On The Road.
There is only one task to do when driving. That is to drive. But we are too bombarded with the noises of bings, beeps and rings of texts, emails, social media notifications. We are in a very connected world now, we have that instant urge to know what that ping was or we must answer that phone call. Even when behind the wheel that temptation to respond is huge. Using any type of mobile device whilst driving is distracting and is – of course – dangerous. This increases the risk of crashing hugely.
The rule is simple. If you must make a call, park up somewhere safe first. Even hands-free can be a distraction, as the person on the other end will not know when you have a risky situation ahead of you. If you stop talking to deal with what you are driving towards, they assume a loss of connection you will then be concentrating and in the speakers you hear, Are you there? Are you cut off?. And never, ever read or type a text or email or look at a social media post, these can all wait until you are parked safely.
In addition, videos are becoming more popular. Never use your phone to take photos or videos as you pass incidents. Or even worse to film yourself talking on social media such as Facebook, TikTok or Instagram etc. Even with the newly released Clubhouse, you should not be talking or engaging in there whilst you are driving. These can all wait until you are parked safely. This is all about keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. Not looking down at your cameras on your devices.
Failing to look properly is one of the reasons why accidents happen. We have enough to be looking for, round pillars, blind spots, cyclists and other vulnerable road users, plus the millions of other vehicles we share the roads with, without having you driving down the road without even looking out of the window. This also means it is just not phones. Sat Nav devices, input the destination before you set off, do not mess about either with the radio to change station or music. The best drivers keep their focus and eyes on the roads.
3. Take Regular Brakes.
Fatigue is another major factor in road accidents. So it is best that drivers plan their journey and take regular breaks. This helps with staying alert. Did you know that 63% of motorists do not take effective breaks whilst travelling long distances. 1 in 20 drivers admit to never stopping g at all. 28% of drivers say they do keep driving even when they are tired because they want to get to their destination. This driving is risky as 1 in 10 drivers have admitted to falling asleep whilst driving. The dangers here are clear. Falling asleep whilst driving you are twice as likely to result in death or serious injury because of the high-speed impact and lack of trying to avoid the collision.
So how do good drivers do this? When planning long journeys always factor in breaks, time to stretch your legs and recharge your batteries. Allow extra time to reach your destination. Anyone who you are travelling to will fully understand that if your journey is long it will take time to get there. If you are feeling tired, stop for a drink of coffee and take a 20-minute nap. After the nap, the effects of the coffee should start to work. You should then find it easier to concentrate on the next part of your journey.
4. Good Fleet Drivers Always Stay Stone-Cold Sober.
This is not only about drinking. Drug driving has become more of a problem. More people are being charged with drug driving than a number of drunk drivers. Being under the influence of either will probably cause an accident. Many people are killed or seriously injured by the use of drink or drugs whilst driving, it is not always the driver themselves though. Sometimes it’s the passengers, or other road users and the families of those involved. Even if you are not involved in a crash, you can still be pulled over and then prosecuted.
5. Do Not Be Overconfident.
Good fleet drivers are confident without being overconfident. If you have read through to this point. You may be feeling pleased with yourself if you do the above. It then is clear you are one of the safer drivers on the roads, having good respect for the rules and always driving to not endanger yourself or others.
But before you get too comfortable: Few people believe they are bad drivers. Yet we have thousands of accidents/collisions every year. As reported in the DFT (Department for Transport) Statistics for 2019 there were 25,945 serious injuries in road traffic accidents, reported to the police and there were 153,158 casualties of all severities in reported traffic accidents. Driver error is a factor in almost three-quarters of all collisions.
So do drivers who get overconfident become complacent? Drivers who feel they have got it sorted behind the wheel are much more likely to make mistakes more than those who keep being vigilant whilst driving. By being as aware and driving in the good way that they do, if an incident is developing ahead, they slow their speed down on the approach in order to reduce the severity of the incident or avoid it altogether.
This is a summary of the characteristics of good fleet drivers. Good drivers stay in control, do not take unnecessary risks, and read the roads for dangers and road signs.
What type of driver are you? Do you see yourself in the above or do you feel you would like to improve the driver that you are?
If you want to get help becoming a better fleet driver, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org