Having an effective driver training strategy in place is essential in keeping your employees safe on the roads, not to mention in reducing costs related to vehicle repair and vehicle downtime.
It will also help to cut down on insurance premiums by keeping road traffic accidents to an absolute minimum.
If you’re a fleet manager looking to either introduce a new training strategy or refresh your current one, read on. In this guide, we’ll talk you through how to implement a strategy, and how using telematics devices can significantly help to create a solid training plan.
Decide on the best method for your training strategy
The exact training methods you choose will be determined by what your drivers need to be trained on (which we’ll come onto a little later). That said, there are some basic methods to consider as a rough guide. These are:
- Online training courses
- Bespoke group training sessions
- Group training sessions aimed at resolving particular problems, such as speeding
- One-to-one training on the road
Face-to-face training works well on a human level as it opens up a clear path for discussion between the driver and the training coach. However, not all fleet drivers need training at this level; it might be better suited to high-risk exposure drivers.
Online training is less expensive than face-to-face training, but can deliver brilliant results. This type of training is popular for businesses with field-based drivers who might not have as much opportunity to take part in practical training. It also works well for large businesses with a vast workforce.
Regardless of the method you choose, it is often worth exposing all drivers to regular training regimes to ensure they understand and are able to reduce the risk of incidents such as rear-end collisions and speeding.
Identify driver requirements by collecting data
You should review your fleet’s training needs on a regular basis and revise and refresh your training strategy to ensure the delivery of courses remains up to date.
To work out what your drivers’ needs are, you’ll need to collect and analyse data from both the vehicles they drive and the journeys they take. This can come from license checks, collision reports and telematics devices.
There are plenty of simple ways to monitor a driver’s risk profile and determine when an intervention is required, e.g. collision statistics and the number of points on their license.
However, this approach is reactive, when in reality there may have been many warning signs in the driver’s behaviour that would have made earlier interventions possible if detected in time. This in turn would have prevented collisions or license point penalties.
Using telematics devices to collect data on day-to-day driver behaviour will give you more visibility of the warning signs and help you make your driver training more proactive. However, you will also need the ability to analyse all this data effectively in order to establish benchmarks that will fully benefit your drivers.
Using telematics to analyse data
Telematics devices can gather a range of data from fleet vehicles involved in dangerous driving behaviour, including:
- Harsh braking and steering
- Rough cornering
- Driving in unsafe locations
Data gathered from telematics devices helps fleet managers create a far more accurate risk profile for each driver. This allows businesses to discover the root causes of unsafe driving and map out potential improvements over time.
Of course, working with this volume of data demands more sophisticated analysis than simply responding to the number of points on a driver’s license, for example. If you don’t already have this capability, choose a telematics supplier who can not only help you collect data but also analyse and report on key trends. This will help you to form a solid basis for your driver training plan.
Implementing your driver training strategy
Once you’ve chosen the best method of training for your fleet and have gathered the necessary data to inform your strategy, the final step is implementing the training itself.
It’s important that your drivers know why the training is taking place, and what the outcome will be if they require any additional training. It’s also important to let them know why the training will benefit them personally.
Senior staff should take part in the same training programmes as other members of staff, as this will encourage communication and set a good example to the wider team. This will also align your training strategy with your company’s safety culture.
Download our telematics guide
Want to learn more about how telematics can boost your driver training strategy? Download our free guide today to gain exclusive insights.