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Be Careful How You Categorise High Risk Drivers

Companies that automatically place their at-work drivers as high risk due to points on their licence, a recent accident or even because they haven’t had their eyes tested should look carefully at their risk assessment process.

According to Graham Hurdle, managing director of online risk assessment and e-driver training specialists E-Training World, this simplistic approach may seem logical but rarely categorises drivers correctly.

“We often come across companies who undertake risk assessments but find that their drivers have been classed as high risk based on one or two opening questions,” said Graham.

“By stating that they fall into certain categories, such as points on their licence or not having had their eyes tested in the last year, causes some systems to instantly mark that driver as high risk and, subsequently, put them forward for on-road training.

“The reality is that genuinely high risk drivers are less safe on our roads due to factors such as poor hazard perception skills, a lack of observation, poor knowledge and a bad attitude. Put it this way, would you feel more or less safe in a car driven by someone with 3 points on their licence but otherwise seemed to be driving perfectly okay than someone who you constantly thought wasn’t noticing dangerous hazards and had little idea of what road signs meant?”

Graham explains that by pushing either the wrong drivers into a high risk category, or too many drivers, has numerous negative implications.

“Not only are you focusing additional training on the wrong people,” said Graham, “you are also overspending on defensive driver training. In fact if more than 10-15% of your fleet drivers are coming out high risk I would challenge why.

“In addition, you are also in danger of disengaging your drivers from the overall duty of care process, because many perfectly good drivers who are being told they are high risk and require training feel aggrieved and then blame the risk process. This develops into negative in-house publicity and can lead to a large majority of drivers not buying into a very important area for any fleet department.”

For information about E-Training World’s award winning online driver risk assessment system, please contact Jonathan Mosley, Director – Sales & Marketing. Telephone: 0845 260 7998 Email: