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What is best practice when it comes to driver training?

Fleet management and driver training are extremely important things for an organization to be on top of. Doing nothing can mean you’re legally liable if the worst happens - not to mention it endangers the safety of your employees. But how can you be sure you don’t do the wrong things? Not everyone is a road safety expert, and there are a lot of different options and recommendations out there. What kind of training is best...
Manuals, books, and notebooks on a desk.

Fleet management and driver training are extremely important things for an organization to be on top of. Doing nothing can mean you’re legally liable if the worst happens - not to mention it endangers the safety of your employees. But how can you be sure you don’t do the wrong things? Not everyone is a road safety expert, and there are a lot of different options and recommendations out there. What kind of training is best? How often do you need to make sure people refresh their learning? How do you put together a safe driving policy for your organization? Where do you even begin?

Fleetcoach has been built on years of academic research, policies, and best-practice approaches. It’s designed with the employer in mind, so it helps you meet all the requirements, meaning you don’t have to do the legwork.

Partnering with Fleetcoach means you are implementing best practice without having to worry about the details. Here’s an idea of the quality that has gone into the production of Fleetcoach:

  • Everything that went into the creation of the programme is evidence-based. The academic team is led by Dr Robert Isler, who has been teaching, conducting and staying informed on road safety research for over 20 years.
  • Fleetcoach uses a coaching approach rather than an instructive one. Research has shown that learners retain far more if they are in control of their own learning, and are able to take responsibility for their development. (Hermes, 2008)
  • Training of Calibration skills. This refers to the overinflated sense of confidence some drivers feel when they get behind the wheel. This is incredibly dangerous: an overconfident driver will not be aware of the skills they are lacking, and is likely to take more risks and drive less carefully (Kuiken and Twisk, 2001). Fleetcoach incorporates training on matching skill-level to confidence, so that individuals can be more aware of the areas they need to work on.
  • Related to the Calibration skills training, is training on Self-evaluation. This encourages drivers to check in with themselves regularly, so they can follow their own progress and make adjustments if required (Hatakka et al., 2002).
  • Fleetcoach focuses on higher-level skills rather than car handling skills. Car handling skills are easy to learn, and can give the driver a sense of overconfidence. The Goals of Driver Education (GDE) matrix sets out a hierarchy of skills which are important for drivers to possess in order to be safe, and manual skills are much lower than the higher-level driving skills. Training of these cognitive skills forms the core of the Fleetcoach programme (Hatakka et al., 2002, Isler et al., 2011).
  • Fleetcoach uses a wide range of psychological theories and models to teach these skills, which include situation awareness, visual search, hazard perception and risk assessment. Specifically, improving hazard perception is a particularly useful goal of any training as it directly relates to crash risk (Horswill & McKenna, 2004).
  • Fleetcoach uses scientific cognitive-behavioural approaches in order to change behaviour. These include the aforementioned self-evaluation and calibration, as well as encouraging drivers to gain insight using various psychological tools. This means that the learning is far more likely to stay with users, and translate to real-life scenarios.
  • Effective visual search patterns can be trained off road via video-based simulations and there is evidence that these skills transfer to real driving behaviour (Chapman, Underwood & Roberts, 2002). See our post here for more on this. In short, training behind the computer screen is safer, and works better than training in a car.
  • Fleetcoach is data driven. We gather data in order to continuously evaluate the effects of the training. We measure hazard perception response time, which is directly related to crash risk - how long it takes them to answer questions. We are always monitoring user results so we can say with certainty: Fleetcoach works.
  • The programme contains refresher courses so users can relax knowing their knowledge is always up to date. No training is ever simply complete – watch out for our blog post on this, coming soon.
  • We are constantly adding to and improving Fleetcoach, so you can be certain the training offering stays fresh, relevant and effective, with the newest literature used to inform the latest developments.

Partnership with Fleetcoach means you are implementing best practice.

References

Chapman, P., Underwood, G., & Roberts, K. (2002). Visual search patterns in trained and untrained novice drivers. Transportation Research, Part F: Psychology and Behaviour, 5, 157-167.

HERMES, 2008. Coaching and optimal communication skills for driving instructors. European Union Co-financed project, State of the Art Report. View the report here.

Hatakka, M., Keskinen, E., Gregersen, N. P., Glad, & A., Hernetkoski, K., (2002). From control of the vehicle to personal self-control: broadening the perspectives of driver education. Transportation Research Part F: Psychology and Behaviour, 201-215.

Horswill, M. S. & McKenna, F. P., (2004). Drivers’ hazard perception ability: Situation awareness on the road. In Cognitive Approach to Situation Awareness, S. Banbury and S. Tremblay (Eds.), pp.155-175 (Aldershot, UK: Asgate).

Isler, R. B., Starkey, N. & Sheppard, P. (2011). Effects of higher-order driving skills training in young, inexperienced drivers’ on road driving performance. Accident Analysis and Prevention (in press).

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