A new report has been published to help fleet operators understand how time pressure influences driver behaviour at work – and what they can do to reduce this risk.
The white paper, authored by DriverMetrics research director, Dr Lisa Dorn, explains the relationship between time pressure, driver stress, performance and crashes.
It sets out a series of recommendations to enable fleet managers to effectively mitigate time pressure risk from a behavioural and organisational perspective.
DfT figures show in 2012, at least one in three (31%) fatal crashes and one in four (26%) serious injury crashes involve someone driving for work.
The white paper explains the ‘perceived threats’ faced by drivers under time pressure, including being unable to fulfil a demanding schedule – leading to a reprimand from a manager – or a complaint from a customer for being late.
It says that these threats lead to drivers coming under greater stress – in turn becoming impatient with delays and taking more risks.
The white paper sets out a series of recommendations for fleet managers, aiming to help them encourage workforces to respond appropriately to time pressure.
These measures include:
- Ensuring drivers understand that safety takes priority as part of induction and ongoing training
- Focusing driver coaching towards identifying the triggers that lead to worry about being late
- Setting achievable targets
- Making sure drivers take breaks even when under pressure, especially on long journeys
- Making sure drivers accept that sometimes heavy traffic and unexpected delays can occur and to plan for this
- Monitoring those drivers with speeding exception reports via telematics and direct towards driver coaching
- Planning the route to avoid roadworks and heavy traffic when possible
The report concludes: “In the last decade or so, fleet companies have shifted from single to multiple interventions to improve fleet safety in the workplace. A single reactive approach is likely to miss important factors that contribute to work related road safety.
“A company should consider tackling the fleet safety problem by adopting several different interventions including a risk assessment, group workshops, coaching, telematics feedback, communications and possibly even in-vehicle training if there is evidence that driving skills need refreshing and improving.”