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Risk management: driver safety 'is not enough'

9 May 2008

Fleet managers are being urged to adopt a more holistic approach to accident investigation.

Dr Will Murray, research director at Interactive Driving Systems (IDS), said that while more employers are starting to seriously follow up incidents, many are still failing to address contributing factors, such as company culture and journey planning.

“An increasing number of organisations are implementing processes but are just focusing on the driver – they need to focus on the wider processes as well,” he said.

Dr Murray’s comments follow the release of IDS’s new post-collision guidebook, which takes managers step by step through the accident investigation process.

The guide includes a self-audit tick sheet to assess where companies currently stand, tips on recording details at the scene of an accident and advice on how to execute a post-crash investigation.

Dr Murray advised managers to use the Haddon Matrix, featured in the IDS guidebook, when beginning an internal investigation.

The matrix provides an investigation framework for fleet managers and, as well as driver actions, considers pressure to perform, journey planning and driver education when apportioning blame.

“If drivers are completely negligent they should be held accountable but it is important to go beyond the driver when looking at corrective action,” said Dr Murray.

“No amount of driver discipline or training will make any difference if the management systems are not right.”

He said that some companies were unsure what action to take after a moderate or serious motoring accident, both with drivers and the organisation as a whole.

“You have to make sure that your company policy addresses corrective action,” Dr Murray said.

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