Blog Archive

Mobile phone obsession could lead to problems down the line
19/08/2017

If, like me, you have kids you’re probably exasperated by their obsession with their mobile phones. In their lives, the phone is the number one priority. Nothing else comes close. You can be in the middle of an important conversation, the phone beeps and their shutters go down. Whatever you were talking about is, effectively, over - replaced by the message or notification that’s arrived. Even if, during a family meal, you ban them from looking at their phones, you know that if one goes...



Some sobering thoughts around drink driving
21/12/2016

We all know drink driving is against the law and, if caught above the legal limit, there is a very good chance you will pay a heavy fine and be banned from driving for a long time. But how does alcohol actually affect our ability to drive? Alcohol is a drug that affects the nervous system. Impairment starts the moment you have your first drink, not when you reach the legal limit. So even if you’re legally entitled to drive, it doesn’t mean you’re safe. Its not our eyes that give us that...



Posthumous whole life costs could pinpoint where the problems lie
17/11/2016

Whole life costs, which include a vehicle’s depreciation, SMR (service, maintenance and repair), fuel and road fund tax, are commonplace in establishing company car policies and budget setting. Yet, these pre-event costs can only include current and forecasted data, which leaves a few things out. A vehicle’s true cost will depend on how it’s driven. The number of accident repairs, actual fuel usage, the real maintenance cost caused by poor or aggressive driving and its use of tyres and brakes....



Raise the motorway speed limit? Or raise awareness of safe stopping distances?
20/10/2016

Nine out of ten (88%) company car drivers admit to speeding on motorways, according to new research from RAC Business, which represents a 7% increase on figures from last year. What’s more, 60% of company car drivers think it is totally acceptable to travel at 80mph on motorways and a third (31%) think the current speed limit is inappropriate for the road. In line with that nearly three quarters (71%) believe the motorway speed limit should be increased to 80mph. There’s been a longstanding...



Are drivers playing Russian Roulette at work?
30/09/2016

Hectic schedules have led to drivers playing ‘Russian Roulette’ with their own lives and those of others, leaving themselves open to fines, convictions, and even jail according to motoring solicitor Matthew Reynolds of Just Motor Law. Reynolds cites examples of time-strapped drivers applying make-up, programming their sat-nav, and even shaving while on the move, and I suspect any driver reading this acknowledges that they all take the odd gamble now and then. But why do we do it? Why, when...



Extra effort needed as figures show rise in road casualties
06/09/2016

Recent figures show a 1.9% increase in the number of people killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads, with 1,780 people killed and a further 22,830 seriously injured in the year ending March 2016. It is believed that a third of road casualties are work-related. This equates to a shocking 11 at-work drivers killed each week. Until 2011, the trend had been positive with year on year reductions. Yet since 2013 Department for Transport (DfT) figures show a 6% increase in the number of...



We can drive safely – we’re just choosing not to!
02/08/2016

Ford published some interesting statistics regarding young people, having commissioned a report of 6500 drivers by the European Road Safety Observatory. The part that caught my eye was that a total of 93% of young drivers consider they have good driving skills – but 54% admit they are not always as safe as they should be while driving. Of the drivers who almost ALL believe they have good driving skills, 57% admitted to exceeding speed limits, 43% have sent a text while driving, 36% have...



Forget driving abroad, we don’t even know our own Highway Code
21/07/2016

At this time of year we often come across advice about driving abroad. Do you know the laws of the countries you’re driving in? Do you have the correct equipment? Have you taken time to understand the road signs and, if you don’t speak the language, do you at least know what the words on the road signs mean? After all, it’s pretty dangerous if you’re in another country with no idea what a road sign is telling you, or what the words say! Can I go down this road? Is it my right of way? What...



Is it time to look at Maslow’s hierarchy regarding your vehicle fleet?
12/07/2016

I read with interest the comments of Lauren Pamma, Lex Autolease’s new head of consultancy, when she said that an increasing number of fleets are asking how vehicles can be used to improve staff satisfaction. Pamma said: “We have had a lot of customers contact us about using vehicles as a way to incentivise employees, rather than approaching consultancy just as a way to save on costs.” It’s an interesting point because she’s not saying, ‘what’ vehicles can be used to improve job satisfaction...



Why do drivers rarely learn from their mistakes?
27/06/2016

Lets look at some common phrases you’re likely to hear regarding a collision. ‘Accidents happen’ ‘Never admit liability’ ‘It wasn’t my fault’ ‘The car in front slammed its brakes on’ ‘He came out of nowhere’ Now lets consider some others. ‘I got it wrong’ ‘I was driving too close’ ‘I wasn’t paying attention’ ‘My driving was very poor’ ‘I caused the collision’. I’m sure all fleet managers would agree that they hear far more of the first set of phrases than the second. Its part of a much greater...



New research reveals the dangers of hands-free mobile phone calls
08/06/2016

Scientists at the University of Sussex have found that drivers using a hands-free phone get just as distracted as those holding it in their hand. The study revealed conversations can cause the driver to visually imagine what they are talking about, using up part of the brain normally spent watching the road. The 60-strong study involved 20 male and 40 female drivers who took part in video tests while sitting in a car seat behind a steering wheel. One group of volunteers were allowed to "drive"...



Will we ever see the use of mobile phones banned in vehicles?
25/05/2016

It’s been an offence to use a hand held mobile phone whilst driving for 13 years, yet every day we see drivers using their mobiles. If we accept that driving whilst on the phone is a dangerous thing to do, you’d have thought the Government would have just decided to ban the use of mobile phones altogether (whether hand held or hands free). Maybe the Government doesn’t think it is dangerous to make and receive calls when driving which is why they haven’t imposed the ban. Well that’s...



Are we kidding ourselves over Green progress?
05/05/2016

If you’ve been in the fleet sector as long as I have, you’ll have witnessed the steady reduction in the number of gas-guzzling vehicles on our roads and will see how drivers, and businesses, are being pushed towards lower emission vehicles thanks to carrot and stick taxation. Never before has there been a better choice of low polluting cars on our roads, and the fleet press is packed with news about electric and ultra low emission vehicles. It could almost lead us into a false belief that...



Is data protection more important than life protection?
05/05/2016

New data protection rules have been adopted by the European Parliament with the aim of protecting the privacy of drivers. Predictions are that by 2020, 90% of new cars will be connected, sharing real-time information on a massive scale. Companies will inevitably need to gain driver consent for data-sharing, writing into employment contracts how data will be gathered and used, opening up another challenge for fleet managers to wrestle with, but I won’t even attempt to touch on every facet of...



How far will duty of care for at-work driving extend?
19/04/2016

Companies are taking differing measures to demonstrate duty of care. Most typical risk management strategies involve checking driving licences, assessing drivers, providing some form of training and having policies in place that cover things like mobile phone usage, drugs and alcohol, taking breaks etc. But is this enough? The truth is, it might be for now but it won’t be forever. The law is a moveable feast and, to take an example from another walk of life, who would have thought years ago...



Assessing fitness to drive – a new guide for medical professionals
11/04/2016

As most of us aren’t medical professionals, there won’t be many in the fleet sector aware of the newly published DVLA document entitled, ‘Assessing fitness to drive – a new guide for medical professionals’ which came out last month (March 2016). The document is complex and lengthy, but in layman’s terms it is intended to assist doctors and other healthcare professionals in advising their patients whether or not the DVLA requires notification of a medical condition, and what the licensing outcome...



Are we passing on deadly habits to the next generation of drivers?
24/03/2016

Many people reading this will have kids. If they’re not yet 17 it probably hasn’t crossed your mind that every time they’re in the car they’re observing what you do. Lets face it, the way you driver now will influence their habits later. After all, kids learn from their parents. So, can you say ‘hand-on-heart’ that you’re setting a good example to your children or any other young passengers in your vehicle? You haven’t sent a quick text while they’re in the car with you? Made the occasional...



Does a lack of knowledge really matter?
08/03/2016

A recent survey by Halfords revealed that more than half of UK drivers do not know the basic rules of driving. 10 questions posed to 4,500 drivers ranged from road signs to the drink driving laws, with 59% of participants failing the test and only 11% answering all questions correctly. This may come as a shock to many people but I’m not surprised at all. E-Training World’s online driver risk assessment is broken down into 4 sections; namely ‘Attitude’, ‘Knowledge’, ‘Concentration/Observation’...



Why embedded behaviour is better than a temporary fix
16/02/2016

Many companies invest in their mission, vision and values. Why? Because true staff engagement is more than just telling people where you are going, how you are going to get there, and how they can play a part. It is about tapping into employees’ motivators and passions, winning hearts and minds. Companies need to demonstrate how values are more than just worthy statements and how they can be applied on a daily basis. Getting this right increases the likelihood of releasing 'discretionary...



Did anything noticeable happen at the start of this month?
08/02/2016

Changes to the law often slide in under the radar, and I wonder how many company directors spotted this one? From February 1st employers convicted under corporate manslaughter and health and safety legislation will face tougher fines, with new sentencing guidelines applying to any case heard from this date, irrespective of when the offence occurred. It means a large company, where the annual turnover is more than £50 million, could face a fine of up to £10m for the most serious health and...



There’s a fine line between a driver trainer and an assessor- be careful not to cross it
01/02/2016

In order to legally charge, either money or monies worth, for driving instruction in a car you must either be on the ADI register or have been granted a trainee licence by the ADI Registrar. Apart from the obvious safety considerations, this is why companies do not allow internal staff (who are good at driving) to provide driver training to others who are less competent – unless, of course, they have the relevant qualifications. Its also why, for example, someone can take their learner son,...



Nanny state attitude treats drivers like toddlers
01/02/2016

Just recently, I was listening to a discussion on the radio about 2 – 5 year olds not getting enough exercise. The Government has published guidelines saying toddlers should have 3 hours exercise a day, and a mother called in to say no-one had told her about it and that it should be the government’s duty to inform parents. My immediate reaction was, what happened to people taking responsibility for themselves? Do we really need the Government telling us to get our children to do some exercise? The...



Nanny state attitude treats drivers like toddlers
01/02/2016

Just recently, I was listening to a discussion on the radio about 2 – 5 year olds not getting enough exercise. The Government has published guidelines saying toddlers should have 3 hours exercise a day, and a mother called in to say no-one had told her about it and that it should be the government’s duty to inform parents. My immediate reaction was, what happened to people taking responsibility for themselves? Do we really need the Government telling us to get our children to do some exercise? The...



All driving cancelled while our minds are elsewhere
01/02/2016

Cancer sadly touches many people’s lives, and it’s now touched ours. Sharon Hurdle, who was a key part of E-Training World’s success, but more importantly my wife, passed away on Wednesday 9th December. She suffered a short battle with the disease after only being diagnosed a few weeks earlier. She will be hugely missed but leaves many happy memories with those who knew her. Sharon was as passionate about road safety as all of us, and I decided to write this blog in tribute to her. Quite...



Small investments in driver training could result in big savings in end of contract recharges
15/12/2015

According to industry research, 35% of cars returned to the UK’s 100 largest leasing companies incur damage recharges at an average of £274. Most contract hire professionals will confirm that recharges can be a tense issue with clients, but if a vehicle has sustained small knocks, scrapes, scuffs and scratches outside the fair wear and tear guidelines, its resale value is affected and someone has to foot the bill. But what can be done? Standard practice is to offer a waiver up to a price...



Government hails contribution of fleet sector, but what are we getting in return?
03/12/2015

Roads minster, Andrew Jones has recognised the contribution the rental and leasing industry makes to the UK's economy. Speaking by video link at the BVRLA Industry Conference, he acknowledged the sector's buying power saying, "I recognise the importance of this sector to the economy. This includes the massive buying power of the sector………. as buyers of 80% of UK manufactured vehicles sold here.” Its great to hear such praise, and I’m sure when you add up the contribution our sector makes...



Is a driver with quick reactions safer than one without?
26/11/2015

An interactive mini-game from JustPark has been recording drivers’ reaction times and guessing their age by how quickly, or slowly, they react when asked to perform an emergency stop. Tested on 2,000 people of all ages, the game has thrown up some interesting statistics. According to the analysis, the reaction time of regular drivers is 10% faster than that of non-drivers, people who slept eight hours the night before the survey reported the fastest reaction times (up to 20% faster than...



Traffic volumes hit all time high, but why are we travelling so much?
17/11/2015

Traffic on UK roads has reached its highest-ever level during the last 12 months and has increased for the 10th quarter in succession, according to provisional Department for Transport stats. The data, covering October 2014 to September 2015, gives a provisional figure of 316.1 billion vehicle miles for the year – the highest annual total ever. Car traffic increased by 1.7%, and van traffic rose by 6.0% to a new peak of 46.9 billion vehicle miles. I can understand the rise in van traffic....



Making risky recruitment decisions could cost you!
13/11/2015

Poor recruitment choices cost companies dear. The wasted investment in your new employee, their failure to meet your objectives, the setback of losing time by having to start again and find a replacement. It all adds up, which is why many companies are implementing increasingly rigorous interview techniques to appoint the right candidate. Something I’m pleased to observe is the emergence of driver profiling as part of that recruitment process. This is becoming increasingly common for roles...



How’s my driving? Are we talking about cars or golf?
04/11/2015

I’m not a golfer, but have many friends devoted to the game. When not playing at the weekend, they’re at the driving range practicing in the evenings, endlessly trying to improve and knock a few shots off their handicap. I said to one of them recently, “How often do you practice driving?” Assuming I meant golf he said he was having lessons and practiced each time he was at the range. He saw the funny side when I said I meant how often did he practice driving a ‘car’, yet my question was a serious...



Aren’t driver distraction devices just another distraction?
20/10/2015

A new driver distraction App has been launched. This one is designed to remove all temptation for a driver to use their phone and consists of a solar-powered device that is fixed to the windscreen behind the rear-view mirror and an app that is loaded onto the phone and a web-based administration console. Wouldn’t it be simpler to put your phone in the boot? Forgive me for being cynical, but if the aim is to reduce the distraction to drivers, surely fitting a device onto their windscreen,...



Speeding costs lives. But are we being led to believe it just costs money?
13/10/2015

Two national newspapers, The Sun and The Guardian, have gone head-to-head in a row over speed cameras. Using the slogan ‘Come clean on cameras’, The Sun has called for guidelines on the use of speed cameras to be reinstated after claiming they have been “quietly scrapped by the government”. The Sun says that under previous DfT guidelines, cameras had to be yellow and clearly visible. Yet this requirement was phased out following a review in 2013, and the newspaper cited a case of a police officer...



Government road safety budgets down, targets gone, road deaths up
06/10/2015

The Department of Transport’s Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2014 Annual Report doesn’t make good reading. There were 1,775 reported road deaths in 2014, an increase of 4% compared with 2013. The number of people seriously injured in reported road traffic accidents increased by 5% to 22,807 in 2014. A total of 194,477 people were killed or injured in reported road accidents in 2014, the first increase in overall casualties since 1997. So is there a link between the rise in killed...



Planes
30/09/2015

Planes, trains and automobiles. What’s a key difference between these 3 modes of transport? Well, of course, there are many – but lets focus on their treatment in the event of a crash. For the plane, a meticulous accident investigation would take place. How did it happen? Was the pilot at fault? Was there a mechanical failure? Did the weather contribute? For the train – very similar to the plane. A thorough interrogation of the cause. For the company car? Rarely any formal investigation and,...



Are all good drivers, good drivers?
25/09/2015

There’s a breed of drivers on our roads that we probably all recognise; the ‘prove a point’ or ‘do good’ drivers. These are the ones who stop to let someone pull out of a side road, feeling virtuous at their generosity but not giving a moment’s thought to the driver behind them who had to brake suddenly because they never expected the car in front to come to a standstill on an open road. When they have priority, for example through a pinch point, humped-back bridge or narrow gap, these are the...



Are your employees driving on autopilot?
14/09/2015

There are many measures to control, advise and warn drivers, thereby improving every road user’s safety. The obvious ones are very visible - for example speed cameras, white lines, road signs etc. Then there are those within vehicles, such as warning devices, vehicle tracking and other in-vehicle technology. In fact, when you think about it, we’re surrounded with a vast amount of support as we drive to our destination – yet we still have collisions! Let’s take a typical example. A driver passes...



What MORR can we do?
08/09/2015

The level of investment in MORR (managing occupational road risk) is certainly on the up, with more companies than ever putting in place policies and procedures. But how well is the corporate sector doing ‘as a whole’ to improve driver behaviour and road safety with at-work drivers? According to the Lex Autolease Report on Company Motoring 2015, I’d say there’s a lot more to do. More than 1,000 drivers were surveyed and 20% admitted to using a hand-held mobile phone while driving. One in 20...



Bump! There goes your company’s reputation!
03/09/2015

Company bosses are willing to spend more than £100 a time on car hire in order to improve their professional image when attending a business meeting, according to research by RAC Business. The survey, carried out among 1,000 small businesses, found that more than half of bosses (52%) have temporarily upgraded their vehicle for an important event. It just goes to show that life is all about first impressions, and any employee visiting a customer, prospect or event is not just representing themselves...



MORR: Making the right choices
25/08/2015

I have sympathy for anyone who finds MORR confusing. If you put ‘managing occupational road risk’ into your preferred search engine, a whole host of information pops up. Process charts, flow diagrams, presentations, strategy documents. I recently put some time aside to see what was being said about it and felt real empathy for companies looking to implement something for their drivers. At one end of the spectrum, it’s made to look over complex – perhaps a tactic by companies looking to...



Will vehicle technology remove the need for driver training?
17/08/2015

Cars now park themselves, alert you if you’re drifting out of your lane, slow down if you’re too close to the vehicle in front – and ultimately, when driverless cars become popular, will remove the need to drive at all. Does that mean driver training is destined to join the dinosaurs and dodos and become extinct? Somehow I very much doubt it. After all, a plane can fly itself too, yet we all feel safer with a well-trained pilot on board! But where will it all lead? At this stage, without...



Education, Education, Education
21/07/2015

Four-fifths of van drivers are unaware of the different speed limits which apply to vans and commercial vehicles, a study by Total Motion has found. The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 determines that the national speed limit for vans and commercial vehicles, of more than two tonnes, is 50mph on single carriageways and 60mph on dual carriageways. Yet the survey reveals that drivers have a distinct lack of knowledge, even of the most basic road laws applying to their vehicles. Some...



How do we get the Government to act on road safety?
14/07/2015

Figures released by the Government on 25th June 2015 show there were 1,775 reported road deaths in 2014, an increase of 4% compared with 2013. Not good news, and yet another reminder that we need to push the Government to do more when it comes to road safety. But what needs to happen to force the Government’s hand on this issue? When there is a multi vehicle crash on our motorways, or a coach crash, there is huge public outcry for a while. The media, campaigning bodies and members...



Has Health & Safety Gone Mad?
08/07/2015

There have been lots of examples of illogical health and safety over the years. Just recently I was told about a vessel in wet dock for repair, scaffolding had to be erected around part of the boat overhanging the water. Divers were employed to be in the water should any workmen fall off the scaffolding, which seems sensible, however these divers were near scaffolding and as such under Health and safety rules they had to wear hard hats! What this must have looked like made me smile! There...



Is driving like a game of football?
01/07/2015

I’ve been watching the women’s world cup and noticed some interesting similarities between driving and football. Both are team events played by individuals in isolation. After all, whilst each person is on their own, you have to be very mindful of what others around you are doing, keep your eye on everyone’s movements, and predict what may happen next. Some players are also far more aggressive than others, and this goes for drivers too. But one difference between the 2 activities is that...



Are your drivers better or worse than average?
25/06/2015

There are two cultural problems with drivers. 1. Virtually all drivers believe they are better than average. 2. Very few take criticism well. If you’d like to test this, next time you’re in a car with a work colleague say you think they are a below average driver and see how they react! Without profiling drivers, however, you will never know who is above or below average. More importantly you won’t know which drivers are most likely to have an accident, nor how many across your fleet...



Zero Accidents – the impossible dream?
16/06/2015

Everyone that’s passed their driving test has proven they can control a vehicle safely and within the law. So why do we crash? Crashes do not happen because drivers aren't able to select a gear or turn the steering wheel. They happen because they are not using the most important control of all - their brain! Complacency is behind this. Drivers failing to concentrate while driving, becoming too relaxed, and not believing they will have an accident. But it’s not just individuals who...



Should I Stay or Should I Go?
09/06/2015

I suspect when the Clash wrote the 1980’s classic, ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ it was unlikely they thought by 2015 it would appear in an article about overtaking. Yet these lyrics sum up the life and death decisions we all take when choosing to pass another vehicle. It’s a topic that recently raised its head thanks to a report by Brake and Direct Line insurance. Their survey revealed that aggressive overtaking forces one in seven drivers to take evasive action, such as being forced to...



The Driving Test is 80. Is it getting a bit old?
01/06/2015

The driving test is 80 this week, and for those of you who enjoy a spot of history there are some interesting facts about its development over the years. Back in 1935 there were no test centres. This meant you had to arrange to meet the examiner somewhere like a post office, train station or town hall. The test was suspended for the duration of World War 2 and didn’t resume until 1 November 1946, and it wasn’t until 1975 that hand signals were abolished from the test – perhaps the first major...



Parcel Delivery or Service Delivery?
26/05/2015

What’s the primary role of your drivers? Like many people I regularly shop online. It means I often have no personal contact with anyone from the store I’m buying from, apart from when the driver arrives with my shopping. This makes the delivery driver my only human connection with the company (and in many instances he/she is from an agency and not employed by the retailer). But I feel that, for many businesses, this person is often the forgotten part of customer care, but potentially the...



How to Go Green? Shouldn’t we just drive less?
21/05/2015

At E-Training World, we have a number of online driver training courses aimed at helping people drive more fuel efficiently, with less wear and tear to the vehicle and harm to the environment. I’ll be the first to admit, however, that if drivers didn’t take their vehicle out in the first place, it would be a far better solution. If an average company car driver, covering 20,000 miles per annum, could drop their travel by 25% it would go along way to reducing the level of pollution being...



Are young graduates ready-made for your business with no further training? No? Then why do we assume drivers are?
18/05/2015

We all know that young drivers pose a serious safety risk to businesses. Some company’s I’ve spoken to cite the basic driving test as being the problem, complaining its not rigorous enough and doesn’t set a high enough standard. Yet the driving test does exactly what it says on the tin! It ensures candidates reach the minimum standard to drive safely. It doesn’t mean a driver is as good as they can be, and requires no further training. Why is it though, that many companies will take a graduate...



Safer Roads Get My Vote. But who do I vote for?
07/05/2015

The election campaign is finally over, and we’ve heard all sorts of promises about the deficit, borrowing, the NHS, benefits, economic growth and a whole host of other headline grabbing issues. But which party will do the most for road safety? The reality is, none of us probably knows, because it isn’t a topic that captures the headlines in the run up to a general election Yet according to the 'Reported road casualties Great Britain: annual report 2013' published in September 2014 (available...



One Visible Mistake and You Fail? Or the outcome of many hidden errors?
29/04/2015

This week I watched a TV programme called ‘Double Decker Driving School’, which followed the progress of learner bus drivers at Arriva's driver training centre. One candidate failed his test because he didn't signal at a roundabout. He was understandably disappointed as it felt, to him, a minor point. Yet many learner drivers who fail on their first test with just one fault often find themselves failing their second test on another driving fault. Many driver trainers will tell you that the...



Everyone makes mistakes – but how many of us learn from them?
23/04/2015

Everyone makes mistakes. But sadly many people’s instinct is to focus on denying, or covering up, an error rather than attempting to learn from it. Politicians are the worst in my mind. During this general election campaign, I’m seeing numerous examples of politicians saying the wrong thing, pushing for changes that they previously objected against and having holes in their policies that they simply won’t admit to. Have you ever heard a politician say, ‘You know what, I’ve made a real howler...



How do you spot a tourist? Poor driving is one clue!
16/04/2015

Easter has passed – the gateway to the summer as we head towards better weather and longer evenings. Where I live on the south coast, it’s not just the warmer weather or longer days that tell me summer’s coming, it’s the increase in tourists. Drivers characterised by not knowing the area they are driving in and often behaving very unpredictably. Stopping without warning to read road signs, making sudden turns, changing lanes at short notice, and having no local knowledge of the well-known...



Can traffic laws keep pace with technology?
01/04/2015

Technological advancements are happening at an incredible pace. In-vehicle intelligence, driverless cars, advancements in satellite navigation systems and now, the latest edition – the SMART watch. It makes me wonder whether traffic laws can keep up, or be left behind as technology shifts up a gear and pulls away. The driverless car is certainly going to challenge our current road laws, and in some cases the rulebook will need to be re-written. Already questions are being asked about who...



Poor Driving or Poor Attitude? What’s the real cause of van accidents?
24/03/2015

When it comes to vehicle damage, vans can be a real headache for fleet managers. They handle differently to cars, they are often driven by people who normally drive a car when not at work, and its probably fair to say that van drivers have less of an emotional attachment towards their vehicle than a company car driver does. It’s for this reason that E-Training World has recently launched a new driver profiling and e-driver training system specifically for van drivers, up to 7.5tonnes. But...



They're ALL victims!
12/03/2015

They're ALL victims! Clegg's Outrageous verdict on drug users... and his pal Branson says smoking skunk is safe!' This was the headline on the Daily Mail website on 5th March. Ironically, this appeared in the same week that the Government launched new limits on illegal and prescription drugs for drivers; a Government in which Nick Clegg is deputy prime minister. As a politician I believe Mr. Clegg should be more careful about what he says, particularly at a time when its clear that any...



Who do we care about the most, company drivers or grey fleet?
02/03/2015

Most businesses, with car and van fleets, have a wide range of measures in place to run their company-provided vehicles. Yet far fewer have fully got to grips with their grey fleet. In the priority stakes it looks like many businesses see the company-provided vehicles as priority number 1 and grey fleet as number 2. For example, at E-Training World, we often hear people saying to us, “We’ll risk assess and train the main drivers first and then look at grey fleet next.” The reason, as I...



Do negative tactics work to improve road safety?
23/02/2015

Speak to any road safety organisation and there’s a common aim; to reduce accidents, improve safety and save lives! But how do we get this message across so that companies and drivers sit up and listen? The most used tactic seems to be through negative headlining such as fear, shock, disgust and horror. Take for example the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) who recently highlighted the worst examples of excessive speeding caught on safety cameras across England and Wales in 2014. Their...



How do we stop the domino effect?
10/02/2015

Department for Transport statistics released on 5 Feb reveal that road deaths, KSI (killed or seriously injured) casualties and casualties of all severities rose in the 12-month period ending September 2014, compared with the corresponding period in 2013. The DfT bulletin shows that the number of road deaths (1,730) increased by 1% and KSI casualties (24,360) by 4%. In addition, child KSI casualties rose by 3% over this period. In the same period there were 192,910 reported road casualties...



How Do You Rate Yourself As A Driver?
05/02/2015

Ask most people how they rate themselves as a driver and, on a scale of 10 being excellent and 1 being poor, many of us would say between 7 and 8; which basically means everyone is ‘above average’. A lot of fleet trainers ask this question before and after training, and having over rated their capabilities prior to going out on the road, many drivers will reluctantly admit that "Maybe I was actually a 3 or 4 before training but now I am a 6 or 7!” So why do we all think we are above average...



Don’t let Inconsiderate Driving Damage your Vehicles and your Company’s Brand!
26/01/2015

A leading charity is campaigning for local authorities to be handed greater powers to tackle the problem caused by drivers parking on pavements. Guide Dogs for the Blind reports that 97% of blind or partially sighted people encounter problems with street obstructions, and 90% of those had experienced trouble with a pavement parked car. When this happens, people who are blind and partially sighted may have to risk their lives by walking into the road just to get by, an issue that also impacts...



Too Sick To Work? You better drive home!
22/01/2015

Winter is here, the NHS is at bursting point and there’s a lot of sickness around – whether it’s battling a dreaded cold or flu, or something more serious. Some people will take to their beds, but many still go to work; either through a sense of duty or because they can’t afford not to – something we may see more of with the growth of zero hour contracts. From a road safety point of view, however, it may not be safe to drive when you are feeling unwell. On top of that, you may be unfit to...



If Your Road Safety Policies Are Gathering Dust, You Could End Up In Court
15/01/2015

The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. The following was published on the Health and Safety Executive news page on the 8th January 2015: ‘The Highways Agency was today (8 Jan) issued with a Crown Censure – the equivalent of a criminal prosecution – for safety failings after an experienced Traffic Officer was struck and killed by a car that went out of control on the M25. Grandfather...



Put a Stop to Needless Vehicle Damage in 2015
06/01/2015

An AA study has revealed that half of motorists have had their cars damaged in car parks in the past year. The new AA-Populus study among 19,887 AA members found that 51% have suffered some damage to their car in a car park. The majority of claims are collisions with other vehicles or with inanimate objects such as bollards, lamp posts or trolley shelters. Other claims include damage caused by rogue shopping trolleys, vandalism and break-ins and thefts from cars. The frustrating thing about...



All I Want for Christmas….is safer drivers
16/12/2014

My final road safety meeting of 2014 was with a driver who wasn’t a frequent traveller, but was about to embark on an incredibly long trip. He’d been referred to me to carry out a quick online assessment and to see if any driver training was needed. Whilst at the meeting we discussed his driving requirements, which seemed to involve frequent stops, and I was concerned that he was being put under too much time pressure to make his deliveries. Another worry was that most of his driving was...



Ignore the Road Signs - your SatNav will get you there!
10/12/2014

The three-point turn could be dropped from the country's driving tests after the Government signaled the assessment's biggest changes in 20 years. Learner drivers may instead be asked to use a satellite navigation system as part of a revised practical exam, and when I read this I was concerned about its implications. Drivers with SatNav systems (which is now most of us) tend to rely heavily on its instruction, resulting in less use of road signs or route planning. Yet road signs aren’t just...



Should the rest of the UK follow Scotland in reducing the Drink Driving limit?
01/12/2014

On the 5th December 2014, Scotland will lower its blood alcohol limit from 80mg to 50mg in every 100ml of blood. This will leave the rest of the UK and Malta as the only countries in Europe with a blood alcohol limit of 80mg in every 100ml of blood. So would it be a good idea to lower the limit across all countries in the UK? It certainly now seems odd for the remainder of the United Kingdom to not fall into line with Europe, because it looks like we’re saying that our drivers are OK to...



A Tight Squeeze for Company Car Drivers
25/11/2014

Company Cars are getting bigger, but parking spaces haven’t changed in size for 20 years. Parking spaces are no longer big enough for the larger vehicles on our roads, leading to nearly £750million a year in repair bills for minor bumps and dents. According to a report by repair firm Accident Exchange, more than 500,000 car parking collisions occur annually, a staggering 1,373 every day. We’ve also seen almost a four per cent rise in these types of incidents since 2010 and the need to squeeze...



Do Your Drivers Read Everything You Send To Them?
12/11/2014

When did you last read the vehicle handbook in your glove compartment? The answer for most people is, ‘When I had a problem or needed information’. In an age of data overload none of us reads everything put in front of us. But with that in mind, how many of your drivers do you believe have ‘actually’ read your company’s driving policy (assuming you have one)? And how many have read the driver card placed inside the vehicle? These documents explain to drivers their duties regarding vehicle...



Don’t Let your Company Vehicles Damage your Brand
28/10/2014

Lex Autolease reported that almost 90% of customers feel tradespeople should take greater care in the appearance of their vans. Their 2000 strong survey found the condition of a vehicle would put off nearly two thirds of consumers (63 per cent) from rehiring, with ‘condition of repair’ at 40% identified as the biggest factor in shaping a consumer’s first impression and cleanliness at 26% the second biggest concern. The survey focused on tradespeople driving vans, yet I feel the same perceptions...



Would a Harder Driving Test result in Safer Company Drivers or Less Company Drivers?
20/10/2014

Some topics seem to raise their heads every so often – one being a call for a tougher basic car driving test. Google it, and you’ll see plenty of arguments for making it more difficult to pass – from driving down accidents to reducing the numbers of vehicles on our already congested roads. But is it a good idea? Less drivers means companies would see a reduction in the number of mobile employees to meet customers, go out selling, deliver goods, make service calls etc. The knock-on effect...



What Can Drivers Learn from Dublin’s Air Crash?
09/10/2014

The headline in the Daily Mail on October 8th read, 'Passengers watch in horror as two Ryanair planes collide on Dublin Airport runway - leaving one with the top of its wing ripped off' Two Ryanair planes hit each other whilst taxiing at Dublin airport. No-one was injured and only minor damage to the wing tips of the planes was done. So why does this make the headlines when far worse accidents on our roads don’t even get a mention? The problem is that road accidents happen all too often,...



Are Driving Instructors to Blame for Ill-Prepared Young Company Car Drivers?
30/09/2014

Providing new, young drivers with a company car can be a risky business. Many have never driven the number of miles expected of them, never driven whilst under work pressure, never worked the hours that young execs work, never driven on roads outside their local area and are often in a car more powerful than they’ve ever driven before. But considering they’ve only recently been trained to pass their test, are we entitled to blame our learner driving instructors for delivering ill-equipped...



Should Drivers Who Kill Be Sent To Prison?
22/09/2014

The level of punishment handed out to a driver who kills someone is a debate that will draw wide-ranging opinion. Every so often we hear about an individual who has caused death through their driving, and in court has received a sentence that many people believe is far too lenient. Yet no driver sets out in the morning intending to be involved in a crash, let alone kill someone on the roads. In the UK, we prosecute the offence not the outcome, which is why some sentences seem light. The...



New In Car Texting System Doesn’t Make Me LOL!
15/09/2014

Watching the advertisement for Ford’s new in car text message reader made me sit forward and think W@? (Which I’m told by my daughter is text lingo for What??) At a time when most road safety professionals are trying to make it culturally unacceptable to use mobile phones at any time whilst driving (despite the law allowing hands free communication), and also trying to educate drivers to minimise the number of in-vehicle distractions, here we have a system that enables you to communicate via...



The Kids are Back to School, but its Adults that Need a Lesson in Road Safety
09/09/2014

The school holidays are, at last, over and many parents will be breathing a sigh of relief! However, no-one will be celebrating the sad reality that this is a time of year when we see an increase in child casualties. Surprisingly it isn’t the very young children that are in danger, it is the older ones! Children going to and from High school are at most risk. The main reason is because these are the children that walk and cycle unsupervised. It is a myth that children are at the highest...



Is It Time To Throw Away The Highway Code?
28/08/2014

Driving Instructors have always used the Highway Code as their bible, because it contains the rules and advice for all road users. However it looks like technology is now putting pressure on this trusted book to change – but should new gadgets or road safety decide the rules of the road? If we take speed limits as an example, the Highway Code states "You mustn’t drive faster than the speed limit for the type of road and your type of vehicle. The speed limit is the absolute maximum and it doesn’t...



You can't get caught speeding on a bend!
21/08/2014

I recently watched a TV programme about 100 year old drivers, which was clearly made for entertainment. But I always feel with programmes like these that the makers should portray a balanced view, rather than just show sensationalist footage. On the whole they succeeded this time, because to assess whether these senior drivers were up to the task of driving safely, the production crew used the services of an Approved Driving Instructor. One elderly gentleman thought that although he had...



Sun, Alcohol and Driving – A dangerous cocktail!
01/08/2014

August is here, and with it comes barbecues, long days on the beach and busy beer gardens. A downside of the lovely weather is people become more relaxed and are tempted to have a few drinks and then drive. Thames Valley police reported the average driver caught over the limit was twice the legal limit of 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath. I live in a tourist area on the south coast near Chichester and at this time of year I sadly witness more people in pub gardens having two or...



For Successful Risk Management, Focus on Successful Communication
25/07/2014

My daughter’s school has told parents that to adhere to the Department of Education's guidelines on child absences, any pupil that has 48 hours or more off school due to sickness will require a Doctor's note. This basically means you ‘must’ see a doctor either the day your child is ill or the next day – all at a time when GPs are so busy that people are going direct to their A&E departments for non emergencies. I wonder if the policy makers regarding school absenteeism liaised with the Health...



When is a Rule not a Rule?
16/07/2014

A grandmother of six was hit with a £70 fine by her local council after stopping her car outside a school for just seven seconds. Charity worker Joyce Sale, 71, from Birmingham, West Midlands pulled up on zigzag lines outside a school in the city as she searched for a parking space. She was left furious after her seven-second stop led to her being filmed by a nearby CCTV van and sent a parking fine. What interested me about this story was the way it was written. I felt the Daily Mail made...



It Wasn't My Fault Your Honour! No-one told me to update my Knowledge!
04/07/2014

A recent report in the Daily Mail stated that more than one in five motorists have had their cars ticketed, clamped or towed away because of ‘confusing’ parking signs. Some drivers avoid trying to park in areas where the signs are most prevalent, the poll by car insurers Churchill found. More than four out of ten of the 2,001 people polled said parking signs in their area were confusing, while a third avoided parking in their local town or city centre for this very reason. Almost one...



What Could Your Drivers Learn From Andy Murray?
27/06/2014

Andy Murray won Wimbledon in 2013 and at the time of writing this blog he was doing well in 2014. But what makes a great tennis player? Before I continue I feel I should confess that my knowledge of tennis could be written on the back of a postage stamp! But what I do know is that when a tennis ball is being struck at over 100 mph one key skill is a player’s ability to anticipate where their opponent will hit it. A professional tennis player's reaction time is incredibly quick, and the...



The Battle of the Motoring Groups!
24/06/2014

Road safety should be the common and united responsibility of anyone that uses the roads. Yet in reality different road users are put into groups, leading to divisions of opinion about who is the safest! We have car drivers, HGV drivers, van drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, and even pedestrians - all blaming each other for being the most hazardous on the road. A recent television documentary highlighted this by getting taxi drivers and van drivers to become cyclists for a day, and put...



Are Road Safety Groups Just a Pawn in the Government’s Game?
17/06/2014

The major Road Safety Groups are always saying speed kills and that we need to take a tougher stance on drivers who blatantly disregard the law and have no respect for others people’s safety. Yet when the Government recently said it was considering allowing magistrates to fine motorists up to £10,000 for speeding on a motorway, there was mixed reaction. In agreement was James McLoughlin, from road safety charity Brake, who backed tougher penalties for speeding drivers. He said: "Speed...



Congestion - Our Problem or Our Fault?
09/06/2014

Drivers who think their cunning short-cuts save time in the rush hour are kidding themselves, experts have revealed. In fact, using a so-called rat run to bypass gridlock on bigger roads is more likely to make a commute longer. Congestion at the busiest times on smaller roads is twice as bad as on main highways, according to research by satnav experts TomTom. Its annual congestion report revealed that traffic jams in British cities have become worse, with average journeys in 2013 taking 27...



57% of Drivers Admit to Tailgating. But what is classed as Tailgating?
30/05/2014

A survey from Direct Line and Brake has revealed that nearly six in ten drivers (57%) admit to tailgating on motorways. This may sound like startling statistic but are we therefore saying that 43% maintain a safe distance at all times? If we refer to the Highway Code it tells us to drive at a speed that will allow you to stop well within the distance you can see to be clear, leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front so that you can pull up safely if it suddenly slows down or stops,...



What’s the Connection between Bird Droppings on the Lincoln Memorial and Accident Reduction for a Delivery Firm?
19/05/2014

I recently heard a great story about excessive wear on the American Lincoln Memorial from all the cleaning it was getting because of bird droppings. After trying different cleaners and brushes someone asked, “Why are we cleaning it so much?” Because of all the bird droppings. So they put up nets to keep the birds out, but tourists complained about the nets spoiling it. So they went one step further and asked “Why do we have so many birds coming to this monument?” After studying it they...



Road Signs: Do They Make Roads Safer Or Are They Just Pointless?
12/05/2014

I’ve been reading reports that Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has called for an end to ‘pointless’ signs – saying they confuse drivers and make the roads more dangerous. Regulations are set to be tightened up, as it is revealed the number of signs cluttering Britain’s roads has more than doubled in 20 years to 4.5million. This is around one sign for every seven cars on the roads. Patrick McLoughlin said councils could clamp down on the constant alerts to motorists about loading...



Why Do So Many People Drink Coca Cola? And what’s it Got to Do with Road Safety?
01/05/2014

Put very simply, millions of people drink Coca Cola because the makers of Coke keep reminding us how tasty their drink is! Everywhere you look, you see posters, digital signs, TV adverts, T shirts and the cans themselves. The brand is world famous. Everyone knows it and most of us have tried it. So, what's coke got to do with driving? Absolutely nothing! However, the repeated marketing used by Coca Cola is a great example of how to keep something very high profile in people’s minds,...



Is There An Imbalance of Justice When It Comes To Driving Offences?
17/04/2014

I read recently in the fleet press about a company driver who was on the phone while driving on company business. Sharmila Mistry, an accounts manager with a pharmaceutical company, was charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving after she collided with another vehicle resulting in the death of two children. Mistry, from Bushby, Leicestershire went on trial at Leicester Crown Court and the jury found her not guilty of the charges. Instead she was found guilty of careless...



That's Not How I Learnt To Drive 21/03/14
17/04/2014

I read with interest that Hindhead tunnel staff have been reporting over 100 vehicles per hour driving past a red cross above a lane. If you haven't read the Highway Code recently, a red cross above a lane means it is closed from that point. It’s just another reminder of why all drivers should keep up to date with their driving knowledge, and as an employer you have a duty of care to ensure they do so. After all, would you allow workers to use other dangerous equipment in the workplace if their...



Can we reduce lost time and accidents by avoiding traffic jams? 7/03/14
17/04/2014

We all need to get from A to B quickly and safely. Yet often, without thinking, most of us get in the car without considering alternatives. You plan for the meeting you’re going to, but don’t plan the best mode of transport to get there. So, at a time when congestion has increased in London, and with an improving economy expected to result in busier roads, is now also the time for us to encourage our field-based staff to look more broadly at their business travel. At E-Training World we’ve...



Is it Speed, or Inappropriate Speed, that Kills? 26/02/14
17/04/2014

“Speed Kills! “ That's what we keep hearing, and yes speed does kill. But it’s inappropriate speed that actually kills – so what do we mean when we say “Speed Kills”? An inappropriate speed could be driving at 30 mph past school children, causing danger to young lives. It could also be driving at 30 mph in a national speed limit, causing a build up of traffic and drivers taking risks to get past you! The problem with a lot of drivers is that they are applying poor judgement. Failing to recognise...



Are Your Drivers Influenced By Television? 12/02/14
17/04/2014

The Times recently published a letter from a reader concerned that The Advertising Standards Authority had ruled that adverts featuring cyclists must show the rider wearing a helmet and riding not more than 0.5m from the kerb. It got me thinking about how driving and riding on our roads is portrayed in the media. Ask anyone to name a programme on television about driving and I would say 99% will say 'Top Gear'. Rephrase the question to ask about TV programmes on "safe driving" and the percentage...



Does Health and Safety End When You get into Your Company Vehicle? 03/02/14
17/04/2014

Health & Safety signs are everywhere and in the main people obey them. Take a major building site, for example, and you will see everyone wearing a hard-hat, florescent jacket and steel toe-capped boots. Workers follow the correct procedures; you won't see a builder climbing scaffolding in heavy rain or snow. Ok, there might be the odd cowboy who ignores H&S but they are not the norm, especially amongst the employees of large construction firms. So why do a large proportion of at-work drivers...



Is Risk Management MORR or Less on Your Boardroom Agenda? 27/01/14
17/04/2014

Ask any Fleet manager what MORR is and hopefully they’ll say "Managing Occupational Road Risk". Let’s also wish it’s reasonably high on their list of on-going priorities, and that they have robust policies and procedures to support it. Yet for those who don’t have anything established, a common step is to invite a risk management company to discuss the way forward, before putting something in place. Some fleet managers we talk to have been reticent in commencing an MORR project because they...



'Use It or Lose It' and 'It Takes Two to Tango' 20/01/14
17/04/2014

There’s an old saying, "If you don't use it, you lose it"; a phrase I feel is certainly true when it comes to driving. The reason it’s so applicable is because many of the skills taught to learner drivers, and required to pass one’s basic driving test, can often be disregarded over time resulting in errors being made leading to accidents. The best example is the mirror, signal, manoeuvre (MSM) routine - something that every driver on UK roads will have demonstrated to pass their test. Yet...



Stormy Start to the Year! 10/01/14
17/04/2014

It’s been a stormy start to 2014 and some members of the public displayed the inevitable reaction to bad weather, namely to go out in it and get as close to the action as possible while the rest of us stayed dry, warm and safe. As I watched the news it was incredible that people were going to the coast to witness the high waves come crashing in. Some of them getting swept off their feet, and one student having to be rescued by the RNLI after getting trapped on a harbour jetty in Aberystwyth taking...



E-mails, E-mails and More E-Mails! 16/12/13
17/04/2014

I’ve had some interesting e-mails and feedback this week - not least to do with my last blog entitled:"Should We Prosecute Drink Drivers Or Is There More Scope For Educating Them Too?" which looked at the best way of dealing with those caught drinking and driving. Running E-Training World, which provides online driver risk assessment and E-Learning, I see a lot of feedback from drivers using our systems. The one thing I have noticed is that the better the culture of health and safety within...



Should We Just Prosecute Drink Drivers or is there More Scope for Educating Them Too? 09/12/13
17/04/2014

December has arrived and that means the police will be starting their month long drink driving campaign. Thames Valley police reported the average driver caught over the limit was twice the legal limit of 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath. The question has to be; are these drivers totally irresponsible and are ignoring the law or do they believe they are below the drink drive limit when they get behind the wheel? Some drivers are simply irresponsible and there is not much we...



Should All Road Users Be Responsible For Their Own Actions? 22/11/13
17/04/2014

A survey was reported in The Times this week where 600 cabbies were asked for their opinions on road signs, amongst other things. They made a few suggestions including "warning of the dangers of texting whilst walking" and "warning of rickshaws". When I first read the article it brought a smile to my face and then it got me thinking. In the last few weeks we have witnessed a number of cyclists sadly being killed on our roads and amongst other ideas there has been comment made about "fitting...



We’re only human, you know! 18/11/13
17/04/2014

I met a middle aged lady the other day who was due to attend a speed awareness course. She said she had been caught doing 37mph in a 30 limit. She explained that it was not her fault as she felt she was being forced to break the speed limit by an impatient driver behind her. As a road safety professional you would expect me to say there can be no excuse for speeding, but as a driver I know we’re all human and have all been in situations where we have felt that we were being pushed to go faster...



Can your company cars portray a bad company image? 06/11/13
17/04/2014

Image is everything in business; its importance reflected in the huge amounts of money companies invest in their PR and marketing. But where do company cars fit into an organisation’s profile? Most of us in the fleet sector would impress on our customers that a well-presented fleet of vehicles has an extremely positive impact. Yet there are occasions when it can backfire, usually as a result of how drivers treat their vehicles or behave towards others on the road. Some might argue that if...



There are 4 E's of road safety, but only one that you can influence 25/10/13
17/04/2014

Engineering, Enforcement, Emergency medical services and Education! These are the 4 E’s of road safety and, to give a quick overview, they are: Engineering - vehicle design, road layouts, road signs and other engineering advancements that improve road safety. Enforcement - speed cameras and other enforcement measures that contribute to improved road safety. However as we all know, enforcement is being diminished due to the reduction in police traffic officers. Emergency medical Services...



How Can We All Be “Above Average” Drivers? 08/10/13
17/04/2014

We all think we are good drivers. Ask anyone to rate their driving and most people will think they’re above average. On a scale of between 1 and 10 (10 being excellent), a good number will say 8 or 9. But hang on - we can’t all be above average. That’s mathematically impossible. The truth is very few people recognise themselves as bad drivers, and the answer in my mind is simple. As human beings we are programmed to look out for bad drivers – in other words, people who are worse than ourselves. We...



An Improving Economy. Is it all Good News for the Fleet Sector? 02/10/13
17/04/2014

Good news! According to George Osbourne, the economy is improving. Bad news! This could lead to accidents, deaths and injuries of at-work drivers increasing. Why do I reach this conclusion? Over the last 5 years both companies and drivers have looked at ways to save money. They’ve also been less busy. After all, during a recession there’s less need to travel and the recent Department for Transport (DfT) report has revealed that from 2002-2012 average company car mileage reduced 4.4% from...



Never Has a Survey Summed up a Problem for Fleet Operators Better! 16/09/13
17/04/2014

At E-Training World, we’ve always advocated that poor driving is caused by poor attitude. Change drivers’ attitudes and you’ll see driving standards improve. I was, therefore, reassured to read the latest survey by TomTom revealing that more than a third (39%) of UK van drivers admit to driving more carefully when using their personal vehicle compared to their company provided one. The research, conducted among light commercial vehicle (LCV) drivers, found 67% of those did so to save money...