Road Safety News

New video highlights dangers of driving for work

Thursday 23rd March 2017

With figures showing that they are involved in a third of all road crashes, IAM RoadSmart has produced a short video highlighting the dangers faced by people driving for work.

Published yesterday (22 March), the video showcases some of the techniques highlighted during the road safety charity’s Driving for Work courses - including ‘spoken thought’ which encourages drivers to describe what they are seeing and act accordingly.

The video also features business leaders, including Gary Bishop, fleet manager for Cannon Hygiene, who says that driving is the most dangerous thing you can do at work.

Gary Bishop said: “Businesses train their new employees with their smartphones and laptops, but what they do forget is most of the time those people are on the road driving – the most dangerous thing you can do for work is drive. I want to promote the fact that more training should be given.”

According to figures published by ‘Driving for Better Business’ - a DfT funded campaign designed to promote the business benefits of managing work related work safety effectively - around 150 vehicles driven for business crash each day. The figures also suggest there are 14,000 KSIs involving people driving at work each year.

Lesley Upham, IAM RoadSmart commercial director, said: “There are many factors to consider when it comes to offering training to business drivers. The cost element is a major one; just think of the impact on your profits of a 35% saving in crashes or a 55% saving in fuel.

“But the primary consideration has to be the human factor. Quite apart from the stress level amongst business drivers who are often required to keep working as they drive, one-third of all road accidents involve people on business. We cannot have so many business drives ending in shock, injury and sometimes tragedy.”

Want to know more about driving for work and road safety?
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Hi Keith
We can digress briefly on to law and advertising but this will be my only post on that subject.

I am very keen on consumer rights but I also do my homework before I buy something expensive, read the small print and follow the age-old consumer principle of "buyer beware".

When I bought my last car the sales blurb claimed it to be able to achieve 50+ mpg. Homework told me my model was achieving real world results of 35-40mpg. 35-40mpg is what I get so no surprises and no complaints.

Emissions? They are merely a technical comparative benchmark between vehicles and I don't think any manufacturer claimed them to reflect real world driving any more than fuel consumption figures (small print). So long as my (existing) car CO2 emission is below 200 for the taxation category I'm happy to leave it at that.

My only question for VW would be why they thought they wouldn't get get caught out EVENTUALLY because forever is a very long time to hide a skeleton in a cupboard.
Pat, Wales

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Pat, Interesting point you have made.
Marketing and advertising: the law:
Advertising to consumers
The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations mean you can’t mislead consumers by, for example:

Including false or deceptive messages
leaving out important information.

So to tell a company that they can save 55% fuel savings based on just one driver achieving that and the next 2 nearest achieving 27.5% is acceptable and not misleading. My reckoning that would be around at most 28% fuel savings. Somewhat below the misleading 55%.

I bet your tone would change if a VW you bought achieved way below what you had been told as a result of misleading information.

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The video is simply a private company advert in the style of a news report. As with all adverts, take any claims in them (e.g. fuel savings) with a pinch of salt. Cutting through the waffle, one of the key messages is looking ahead and "reading the road" (my words not theirs). So any ad which promotes that can't be all bad!
Pat, Wales

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In the report it did say up to a 55% improvement and not that that was any sort of average. In conversation space management was briefly mentioned and then it become how to look further ahead, anticipate and react etc. One cannot do any of those three things without the placing oneself on the road without the ability to see further along the road and in many instances that is not happening due to other vehicles simply travelling in the same direction getting in the way.

The key to all good safe driving is to be by oneself. One needs to make as much space between yourself and any other vehicle and for that purpose one needs to understand the basics and that starts with the giving of sufficient safe space. Many drivers have no idea of what is sufficient safe space.

The IAM as do RoSPA, the DSA and other training bodies, in general follow the guide lines that are in the Police Roadcraft manuals.

If that is incorrect or misinterpreted then the safety of it is in doubt. One needs to be sure that what is being taught is safe and does not place trainees at any greater risk then they should otherwise be. As the Roadcraft manual says one should not sacrifice safety for the sake of expedience.
Bob Craven Lancs

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Having delivered the EST programme to business drivers over the years, I am yet to see a company that could make a 55% fuel savings. Seems very misleading information possibly for self gain. IAM Smart should retract the claim and also re-do their video as the claim also appears within the video. As previously stated smacks of VW.
Dave, East Midlands

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I suppose if employees were given a fixed, reasonable allocation of fuel (or funds to buy fuel) for a known journey or journeys, but once used up they had to pay for the extra themselves, it might encourage them to temper their driving to be more economical and no doubt smoother and safer as well. Possibly controversial but win, win surely?
Hugh Jones, C

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Just confirming I received an email from Lesley Upham stating the 55% fuel saving was achieved by just one driver within the fleet that was being trained. With the next two highest savings being 27.5%. My point is that the article is suggesting from just one driver making a 55% fuel saving a company could make a 55% fuel savings.

Under correct coaching very high fuel savings can be made. However, once drivers are left to their own devices such initial high fuel savings will decline but hopefully be better than before.

All I am saying is it seems the article is rather economical with the real figures by only stating the single highest % achieved by one driver.
Kevin Packer

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Kevin, I agree with you.

If I was told that our business could make such a saving then I would take the programme, however if the realtiy was that only one driver got anywhere near this then I would not only be severely dissapointed but would question the ethics of an organisation that makes such outlandish claims.

To enable a potential client to make an informaed decision the IAM should provide an average figure that could be achieved, not self promote by making the comment 'just think of the impact on your profits of a 35% saving in crashes or a 55% saving in fuel' this is totally misleading.
Deb Grainger

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Bob, I agree with your comments.

We have been delivering ECO driving for about 30 years. Aiming to provide a stress free and relaxed drive leading to reduced fuel use and long term improvements to whole life vehicle costs.

Achieving a 10% to 15% fuel savings is achievable consistently if drivers put into practice what they have been coached, with some having the ability to achieve higher savings.

However, to read that companies can make a 55% fuel savings was surprising.Could it be then that the 55% figure only reflected the savings made by one driver within the fleet while the average across the fleet was much lower?

Surely if this was the case it would have been better to give the average fuel savings and not just the highest figure achieved by one driver as this may lead to disappointment by some companies.

I seem to remember that Volkswagen were lambasted for some of the claims they made about fuel efficiency.
Kevin Packer

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As a result of its Driving for Work course being recognised by the Energy Savings Trust, IAM RoadSmart has a whole set of EST-verified mpg improvement figures taken from on-road training sessions. Plenty of drivers achieve improvement figures in the region of a 30-50%, with some achieving 60% or even 90% improvements in mpg. As we know some drivers develop bad habits that have a significant and negative impact on the vehicle’s potential mpg figures. Under the correct tutorage, very large gains in mpg can be achieved quite readily.
Rodney Kumar, spokesman for IAM RoadSmart

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Let's not forget that if one is getting from A to B in the old stop start fashion of harsh braking and fast acceleration then a change to slow and smooth ie. giving safe distance and slowing gradually not violently and then having less need to keep up so to speak and accelerate smoothly over less distance then I would imagine that petrol consumption improvement. Keeping safe distance and improving vision as opposed to tailgating and braking and accelerating harshly. A modest car doing 20 mpg initially can be driven and possibly give 30 plus mpg being driven the safer way to go for the Space is Safe Campaign. It's what I have been saying all along.
Bob Craven Lancs

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Keith and Kevin - we have advised IAM RoadSmart of your comments and invited them to respond if they wish to do so.
Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News

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I am also supprised to see the claim by Lesley Upham, IAM RoadSmart Commerical Director claiming to be able to achieve 55% fuel savings. As the training Lesley is referring to is provided to business drivers you have to assume it's on-road training.

We are surprised to see such a high figure being quoted with regard to fuel savings.
Generally you could expect may be 10 to 15% at most if a driver works had at applying the principals of ECO driving. So to read someone quoting 55% is it surprising. Is it possible to request more information relating to this claim.
Kevin Packer

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Producers of the BBC's The One Show should be made to watch this - too often their reporters are seen reporting whilst driving, turning their heads to the left to address the camera, taking their eyes and concentration off the road ahead, making them accident-prone.

That aside, it's a good video, particularly the 'space management' and 'looking on main beam' messages. One thing though, these messages should be noted and applied by all drivers, not just those 'driving for work'. The majority of collisions involve drivers who are not 'driving for work'!
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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Is it possible for Lesley Upham to provide the evidence of 55% fuel savings through providing training for business drivers. To claim that this can be achieved must be substantiated. Or is is claim just a means to try and achieve more business.

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