Danger of clocks going back

12 November 2018

According to Department of Transport data, you are more likely to be involved in a motor incident after the clocks go back in October, with 3pm to 8pm being the deadliest time of the day.

Less experienced drivers and school children are the most vulnerable road users at this time of year, with male drivers statistically more likely to have a crash than females.

Factors such as children going home from school alone in the dark, inexperienced drivers perhaps not used to low light conditions, and the general adjustment to different driving conditions all elevate the danger to both drivers and pedestrians.

Figures from 2016 show that pedestrian deaths numbers dramatically raised in October, November and December compared to September of that year. The chances of a child being involved in an incident in these months increases by 20%.

As a result of these figures, and in addition to the many organisations like JLT Specialty who strive to reduce the accident frequency and severity of incidents on our roads, groups such as The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents are now campaigning for the practice of turning back the clocks to be abolished.

Mitigating Occupational Road Risk

Increasingly, we are seeing fleet operators develop their driver safety systems and approach to focus on the individual drivers and their behaviours.

Research and anecdotal evidence suggests it is the behaviour of drivers that is the main factor in occupational motor incidents and collisions. Once the factors that influence poor behaviours are known, they can be analysed and managed accordingly, to reduce the negative impact on safe driver performance.

Based on research conducted by the Driving Research Group at Cranfield University and DriverMetrics®, five of the highest risk behaviours include:

Driver fatigue

Fatigue is a recognised risk factor. Are the work and rest patterns for drivers appropriate? A person over the drink and drugs threshold wouldn’t be allowed to drive so what mechanisms exist to safeguard fatigued drivers?

Speeding

  • Likelihood and severity of crashes increase through excessive speed. What factors could exist within the workplace that causes drivers to speed? Is a cultural change needed, that can support realistic schedules and route planning?

Time pressure

  • Are your drivers under pressure? This could be self-inflicted or could the organisational needs be exerting unwelcome, unknown and unsafe pressure? The next quarter, with its retail bias will undoubtedly add a further pressure, compounded by the increasing demands of internet customers.

Distractions

  • Ranging from ‘thinking about work’ while at the wheel to a myriad of distractions such as other road users, road conditions and road works, to the increased number of ‘in-cab’ safety systems themselves.

Mobile Phones

  • Use of phones - whether hand-held or hands-free - are a major factor in crash risk
  • What is the company policy in respect of making and receiving calls to/from drivers whilst they are driving?

Human behaviour cannot be accurately forecasted, we know that. Considering the number of humans in the chain from the Board through to management and the frontline drivers, it is appreciated that many challenges exist. At least by being cognisant of the impact of behaviour, we start to better understand, and therefore support and manage the drivers; benefiting them, their employers and the wider world, especially during the winter months.

For further information please contact, Joanne Taylor, Development Executive on +44 (0)7795 046 938 or email joanne_taylor1@jltgroup.com.

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