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Posted by Graeme Corner

For some drivers, the age-old saying that ‘rules are made to be broken’ is a description of their driving style. Perhaps they believe that there’s no harm in following rules of their own, or maybe they don’t think of the rules of the road as a priority.

However, from a fleet management perspective, there are numerous repercussions to being caught out flaunting the rules of the road. Drivers could end up fined or banned from driving for their actions, which has an impact on their ability to work and the smooth running of the fleet. Even worse, they could be putting someone’s life at risk.

So why do these drivers ignore the rules of the road?

According to a national survey undertaken by the School of Psychology in Ireland, there are multiple factors that impact driver behaviour. Their study looked at numerous factors that impact behaviour, including influences such as family and friends, the driver’s confidence, their personality, and their attitude towards speeding. These characteristics were then separated by both age and gender, to give an overview of the average attitude for:

  • Males under 25
  • Females under 25
  • Males over 25
  • Females over 25

The study collected the results of 1435 individuals. Overall, the main reasons people chose to undertake risky road behaviours were:

  • 47% believed that speed limits are too restrictive.
  • 33.5% agreed that taking chances and breaking a few rules doesn’t make you a bad driver.
  • 41.8% said they still felt in total control of the vehicle when driving fast.

In particular, it was males under the age of 25 who consistently reported that they had the highest perceived driving control and were the most lenient towards violating rules. They also topped the charts for personality features like impulsiveness and sensation seeking.

Unfortunately, statistics from the RAC Foundation show that these attitudes do not correlate with the truth, with young drivers overrepresented when it comes to road collisions. In fact, males under the age of 20 experience more than three times the risk of death from road traffic accidents than the general population.

What does this mean for fleet management?

While you may be thinking “that’s fine, I don’t have any drivers on my roster under the age of 25”, the research shows a clear link between over-confident behaviour on the road and dangerous results. Therefore, it’s a great idea to tackle poor driver behaviour in your fleet, to reduce the risks of road accidents. The Transport Research Laboratory suggests that safe driving can be achieved by:

  • Collecting data on driver performance, collisions and near-misses.
  • Rewarding safe driving behaviours.
  • Reducing the length of time that a driver spends on the road, without increasing their pressure to deliver quickly. This can be done by planning sensible routes and using GPS to avoid congestion.
  • Scheduling driving to correspond with the body clock, to avoid unnecessary sleepiness.

For many of these factors, software like Movolytics can be used to improve road safety and driver behaviours. Check out our How We Help section to find out more.

 

The image shared with this article was published by  Jaguar MENA under Creative Commons license 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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Graeme Corner

The majority of my time is spent ensuring that our team delivers simple and cost-effective solutions to our customers that face the challenges of running a fleet of vehicles.
Occasionally I manage to sneak away to enjoy time with family and friends or a quick game of golf ….