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Improved Hazard Perception Skills Will Dramatically Reduce Fleet Costs
07/02/2012

Fleet operators seeking to reduce their number of accidents, improve fuel consumption and minimise wear and tear on vehicles should focus on improving their drivers’ hazard perception skills.

According to Graham Hurdle, managing director of leading online fleet risk management and e-driver training specialists E-Training World, this skill is frequently lacking in many fleet drivers, but is also the solution to many problems.

“Hazard perception is all about spotting clues to hazards,” explained Graham. “Wheelie bins at the side of the road indicating that a dustbin lorry could be round the next corner, horse manure on the road which points towards riders ahead, and children walking in school uniform denoting that a school is not far away. These are all vital indications to an alert driver to temper their driving accordingly, therefore minimising ‘hazard avoidance’ which is where you have to slam your brakes on or swerve because you missed the obvious clues.

“It is also important for improving fuel consumption and cutting down on vehicle wear and tear because by anticipating the road ahead, drivers can moderate their driving. For example, seeing traffic lights well ahead that have been on green for some time means the likelihood is they’ll be red by the time you arrive. By slowing down so that you do not have to stop, therefore giving time for the lights to change back to green can result in important fuel savings. Likewise, all too many drivers leave it until the last minute when charging up to roundabouts and other junctions when they could reduce their braking and accelerating by monitoring in advance the traffic flow so that they can continue their journey more smoothly, and not put pressure on the vehicle.”

E-Training World’s online driver risk assessment system measures each driver’s hazard perception skills using road scene images whereby the driver has to click on the clues to hazards. The company also offers a specific e-driver training module purely on hazard perception.

“It is such a fundamental skill, required by all drivers, that I would go as far to say that fleet managers should ensure their online driver risk assessment caters for it,” concluded Graham. “Because if you ask any professional driver trainer they will tell you that it forms a significant part of safe driving technique.”

For more information about E-Training World’s online driver risk assessment system, or the hazard perception module, please contact Jonathan Mosley, director – sales and marketing on 0845 260 7998 or email jonathan@e-trainingworld.com