Vehicle crash costs can be the difference between making and missing the number. So it’s not enough to provide the information – employers must be certain that the drivers learned crash avoidance and hazard detection skills necessary to protect the fleet.
Evaluating Training Choices:
Behind the Wheel: Behind the Wheel can be valuable in specific circumstances such as when an employee operates a specialty vehicle with unique characteristics like a garbage truck, semi-truck or bus. It is very valuable for novice drivers learning the basic handling of a car. But for normal adults driving for their jobs, there are much more effective ways of building their skills and keeping their attention. Behind the wheel training cannot be conducted for the higher risk situations that lead to crashes such as fog, night, snow or distracted driving scenarios.
Online Courses: While web training is simple, do “read and click” web-based courses truly translate to improved driving skills for adults? Online training is useful for novice drivers and is an effective, scalable way to deliver that information.
Driving Simulators: There is a long history of scientific justification for simulators and their value for training. Air Force, Marine Corps, the Army and Navy have trained their airmen, sailors and soldiers in the rules of engagement, judgment, combat, marksmanship and indirect fire on simulators. Likewise, driving simulators put drivers in dangerous situations and measure what they do to ensure competency. Also, there is compelling evidence that simulator-based instruction provides a high transfer of learning rate on new and experienced drivers.
“VDI’s driving simulators have proven to be a cost-effective and engaging way to provide refresher training before and after accidents to our Postal Carriers and Tractor/Trailer Operators”, said Andre Maddicks. “More importantly, the simulation-based driver safety training has considerably reduced accident rates in the Suncoast District during our trial period compared to the same period last year. In fact, we have had only one backing accident since we got the simulator in Tampa compared to last year when there were 26!”
Based on the success of the Triboro District simulator decreasing accident numbers, Andrea recommended that the Suncoast District in Tampa, FL pilot the Virtual HD program. The pilot was proven successful in reducing crash rates and Andrea has now implemented simulation training in this district as well.
So while you continue to battle the war between controlling costs and improving driver safety, consider the emerging technology solutions now available in your arsenal that will provide you with a tactical edge.
Coming Soon: Is Behind the Wheel Behind the Times? Business Operations Considerations
By Bob Davis & Pam LeFevre, VDI
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