UK driving tests have evolved considerably over time from just a practical test, to a theory and hazard perception exam, and more recently an 'independent driving' section where the students have to navigate the roads using road signs.
Since the biggest of these changes came in, accident rates have dropped considerably (they're 11% lower today compared to in 1996) and many believe this more in-depth examination makes the newly passed better drivers.
So, could regular top-up training make your staffs' driving better and reduce the likelihood of them getting into accidents?
Should You Invest in Top-Up Driving Instruction?
According to IAM Roadsmart, there is no empirical evidence that drivers who have recently passed their test are any safer on the roads than someone who has been on the roads for many years. In fact, Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM Roadsmart, believes once a driver reaches a certain age and has been driving for a number of years "general experience will have taken over from any early education".
However, he adds that it's not to say top-up, on-the-road training that can "develop a person's driving in ways an online or classroom session can't" is not worthwhile. Regular courses and training can ensure excellent hazard perception skills which will buy time and hopefully prevent an accident from happening should an incident occur during the regular working day.
There are several different courses that employees can take on everything from hazard perception to refreshing their knowledge of the highway code. This may be necessary as part of a company's risk assessment procedures or even a condition of the business' insurance, and is often seen as a necessary expense due to its return on investment.
Becoming better drivers could even save your company money. New research from Direct Line which studied 319,000 journeys and 2,000 drivers has found that bad drivers cost fleets an extra £560 a year in fuel. The excessive braking and accelerating means they do less miles to the gallon and have to fill up more. This poor driving can also accelerate wear and tear, meaning that tyres and brake pads need replacing sooner and more often (another unnecessary expense).
Will Refreshing Skills Lower Insurance Premiums?
Greig states that investing in training can result in up to a 5% drop in insurance premiums, as well as a 20% drop in accident rates and a 35% saving on vehicle maintenance and repair costs.
Of course, another way to reduce the cost of your insurance premiums is to create a tailormade policy, where you choose exactly what cover you require and for what limit. This will eliminate costly additional cover that comes in standard packages which may not be required. Furthermore, comparing insurance quotes online will ensure you get a competitive deal.
Discover the many types of commercial motor insurance we offer and compare online today to see how much you can save.
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