The tool #9: Driving for Excellence
In 2004 the World Health Organisation estimated that road accidents account for 1.2 million deaths and 50 million injuries worldwide each year. The majority of road accidents occur for two reasons:
1. Lack of basic driving skills, and
2. Attitudes that lead to dangerous driving.
Driving for excellence is a situational awareness tool aimed at changing the attitude of all drivers, both professionals (i.e. HGV and LGV) and ‘casual’ drivers (such as those who drive to-and-from work). The exercises contained are aimed at both drivers (who must concentrate on road hazards) and supervisors (who focus also on plans and schedules that affect drivers’ safety).
The tool is different to many approaches to improving driver safety. It does not present pictures of gruesome crashes as a deterrent to dangerous driving. Studies have shown that these only makes participants ignore the warning as they believe it won’t ever happen to them.
Driving for excellence uses the Hearts and Minds’ Safe Behaviour Model. This model shows that there are several key steps to safe driving:
- Sense the hazard – can you even see/hear it?
- Know the hazard – do you understand what could happen?
- Plan your response – what are you going to do?
- Act in the best way – will you do the right thing?
- Maintain this way of driving – keep the above four rules at the forefront of your mind.
- Look, Speak and Listen – be prepared to give feedback.
Different activities are aimed at different elements of this model and can be completed by both drivers and supervisors. Each exercise is intended to create improvements by getting people to engage actively in the process of looking for hazards, thinking through problems and actively selecting the best solutions.