Four compelling reasons for Driver Training
MiX Telematics have been delivering Defensive Driver Training and Transport Safety Training in Australia and overseas for over 15 years. During that time, we have worked with various clients in both good and challenging economic times. In tough times such as now, training is often considered as dispensable, and one of the first things to go within an organisation. In reality, training should be considered essential and as something that needs to continue regardless of economic climate conditions. Here are four compelling reasons why:
1. The real cost of vehicle crashes
When you calculate the cost of a crash, what do you include in that calculation? Usually it's the following:
- the cost of repairing the vehicle
- medical expenses for injured staff
- the cost of a replacement vehicle and/or staff member to make deliveries while the other vehicle is off the road
- maybe the cost of late service or goods deliveries
- increased insurance premiums
Other costs which often get overlooked with vehicle crashes include the cost of conducting an investigation and incident reporting, damage to brand reputation, fines associated with the crash that the company may be liable for or staff replacement costs if the driver is unable to return to work. When these factors are built into the calculation the true cost of a vehicle crash could be as much as eight times more than your insurance payout according to figures from the International Loss Control Institute.
Although the cost of fuel in Australia has come down in recent months, wouldn't it be nice to be able to save even more on fuel for your organisation?
- According to the United States Environment Protection Agency (EPA) making a few simple changes to driving techniques could produce fuel savings of 5% or more
- A Canadian study estimates that fuel savings of over 10% can be achieved through driver training and monitoring, and
- A study for the European Commission estimates than an annual one-day driver training course can improve truck fuel efficiency by 5%.
It is important to note that most of these studies only measured fuel consumption, and not wear and tear on the vehicle or servicing costs. That being said, there is little doubt that improved driver practices can lower fuel consumption and ongoing training can go a long way to help in maintaining long-term fuel economies.
3. People Forget
People forget, road rules change and drivers slip into bad habits!
When some of us completed our driving licence tests 25 years ago there were no such things as mobile phones and GPS navigation systems. But, as technology changes so do road rules and even touching a mobile phone while driving now could result in a $400 fine and 3 demerit points (this increases to 6 points on a long weekend).
While companies may not be liable for tickets issued to their employees, the cost of replacing a staff member who has lost their licence is another one of those hidden costs that doesn't usually get considered. Ongoing driver training can help to ensure that old habits don't resurface and reinforce key, positive driver behaviour amongst staff members.
4. You still have a duty of care
Regardless of economic climate conditions, employers still have a duty to ensure that all staff are trained and are safe in their workplace (which includes vehicles). Drivers are still required to comply with fatigue management legislation and Chain of Responsibility legislation still places responsibilities on drivers, loaders, consignors, receivers and managers.
Failing to meet these duties (even through not being aware of them), can carry harsh penalties including fines, imprisonment, or both
The smart companies out there won't reduce driver training to save money, but will use driver training to reduce costs.