THE AVAILABILITY of improved data paves the way for targeted driver training, cutting collision risks and fleet costs, says Arval.
As well as collision and damage information, data ranging from telematics analysis through to fuel use and tyre wear can increasingly help fleet managers to identify who needs specific driving help, says David Watts, fleet consultant at the leasing and fleet management specialist.
He said: “Many businesses still have a blanket approach to driver training, whether that means online, classroom or in-vehicle. The tendency is that everyone who has a company car or van is trained in a similar way, or a company does not provide any driver training at all because it is considered too costly to train the whole driver population.
“The problem with the former is that this is an inefficient approach. It typically involves giving generic risk awareness training to people who don’t really benefit from it in the long term, and it also doesn’t identify those who might need additional or specific help.
“It’s unlikely that this approach, particularly if done in isolation, will have any material impact on the overall number and severity of vehicle collisions.
“However, the growing availability of better data is providing fleet managers with the means to identify drivers who would really benefit from training and even giving a strong indication as to the kind of training that they might need.
“This could include telematics data, fuel use and tyre wear, penalty points, and collision and damage information which, through analysis, can help you to spot, for example, who requires speed awareness training or who needs their skills improving when it comes to manoeuvring in car parks or confined spaces.
“In most instances, this kind of highly targeted driver training approach is, we believe, the future. It is operationally efficient, cost effective and is likely to produce better results because it directly addresses specific driver needs.
“However, any driver training will only really be successful if it is part of a wider road risk management programme that promotes a road safety culture.”
There are also instances where training a group of drivers can also make sense, David added.
“A good example is if your company has hired a dozen graduates and is asking them to cover perhaps 15,000 miles per year. This is quite a step for young drivers who are probably quite inexperienced.
“There is a very good argument to initially provide them with a specific inexperienced or young driver training course and then monitor the on-road behaviour of the entire group, identifying those who may need additional help once you know more about their real world performance.”