Driver Training - Skill building or just confidence building?
In your experience do you have a reduction in incidents involving vehicles if the drivers have undertaken additional training?
The old road safety mantra about engineering, enforcement, education with education being the least effective of the three, makes me wonder. I am particularly interested in 4WD drive training for those who use forest "roads".
We found 4WD training reduced incidents in the company as it gave the attendees an opportunity to trial their vehicles in a number of situations (under competent supervision) that some would not generally face day to day and provided them with the necessary skills and knowledge to manage the situation and understand the limitations of both themselves and their vehicle.
It also assumes no knowledge of the workings of 4WD vehicles so they get a basic overview of the differences between a road vehicle and a 4WD - advantages and disadvantages.
It also taught them how to risk assess prior to accessing areas and safely extract their vehicle if they misjudged or conditions changed and caught them out and what appropriate resources they should have on hand.
The 4WD trainers we have had in the past tend to put some time prior to the course in understanding the activities being undertaken and the terrain so they can structure or customise the course to suit your situation which we have found invaluable.
Janet Mary Houston
Hi Michael - I have 75 employees currently Stage 1 Defensive Driver trained and putting them all through Stage 2. Whilst in UK recently I met with a senior H&S person from Johnson & Johnson - and had the same question - his answer was that it was just one of the building blocks to put all wall of protection around their employees, they have over 1500+ people driving every day throughout Europe and UK - so it is a considerable expense, but one they invest in because believe it is making a difference.
Janet Mary Houston
We are on a much smaller scale here but 8 of our people did Stage one of Advanced Driver training and since then, on two occasions drivers have stated that their near miss would have resulted in an accident if not for their training. We are now arranging for Stage 2 training.
I work at TR Group. We lease and rent over 6000 heavy vehicles and we have an in-house training company, Master Drive, that helps TR customers (as well as the paying public) because we know that it means fewer breakages in our lease vehicles and better results for our customers' drivers (fewer crashes, better fuel economy, etc).
If you want to know how bad you are at driving, see how many you get incorrect in a free road code test:
- that will show you the basic road rules that everyone should know. However, you also need to know the advanced knowledge that really keeps you safe in your specific industry, and that requires training as it's not taught as part of the learner driver experience.
Michael - Cables are major TR suppliers. If you want to have a chat about this, I'm in the Auckland office.
Training for 4WD off road use is essential, particularly now more of these are automatic. At DOC we have just completed a 4Wd familiarization programme as the characteristics of the automatics which are now being supplied to us are quite different than the manuals, and if people are unaware of this then that becomes a significant safety issue.
Interestingly at DOC we have very few off-road 4WD incidents and feel we manage this well. However on-road incidents are high and a critical risk for us. We have developed a GPS tracking programme, on-road online module training and better targeted practical training.
Early days yet but we are starting to notice a decrease in our driving risk.
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