Driving You To Distraction?

Do you watch your installation teams drive off every morning hoping and praying that they all get through the day without being involved in a prang that will push up your premiums – or worse – asks Kate Ashley-Norman.

How often do you get in your car in the morning and arrive at your destination without actually being aware of how you got there?

How often have you felt those prickles of fear after a near miss on the motorway or at a junction, when you realise that you were a split second away from having an accident?


Car crashes and emotional upheaval

While workplace wellbeing tends to be focused on supporting employees through challenging times, handling stress and ultimately improving an overall more open and understanding company culture, an individual’s emotions and behaviour can change dramatically once they get behind the wheel of a car.

“Behind almost every crash is an incidence of emotional upheaval,” says Nick Rowley, CEO of Drive iQ, specialists in the implementation of road awareness and safety programmes based around self-awareness and behavioural change. “It is probably of no surprise to anyone that personalities can change quite dramatically as soon as you get behind the wheel of a car. Daily pressures, the ability (or inability) to cope with stress, bad habits - these can all contribute towards increasing the risk of having an accident.”


Driving for business

The landscape of driving for business is changing. Thousands are sticking to a hybrid model of working, This has had an impact on the number of people commuting which you would think would reduce the number of accidents on the road. However, the figures don’t tally. While the number of road accidents dropped during 2020, the latest figures released by the government for 2021 and 2022 show that numbers are once again rising to pre-pandemic levels.

“When someone is driving less, their overall skillset and confidence in their own driving abilities can diminish,” says Rowley. “We have seen that individuals who are struggling with their personal wellbeing are not only affecting their professional lives but are also increasing risk elsewhere, such as on the road.”


The movement of people

Whether driving is an important part of someone’s job description or not, every one of your employees can be considered a road user and there will be a wide range of driving abilities that might not necessarily match up to an individual’s self-declared ability. The bravado and confidence of one of your installation teams’ drivers may not quite tally with the concern that their colleagues have when accompanying them to an installation job. Is it an accident waiting to happen?


Raising everyone’s ability

The skill is to work with each one of your employees to create a knowledge and understanding around road safety - whether in cars, on bikes or motorbikes, e-scooters or even on foot, raising everyone’s ability from a common foundation.

Rowley says: “Drive iQ has, over the years, shared insights on improving performance and safety through managing personal behaviour with a million or more road users around the world. An uplift in driving habits leads naturally to a corresponding uplift in overall wellbeing and professional productivity. But for businesses there are additional benefits - you can lower fuel costs, lower insurance premiums and avoid the costs associated with accidents.”


Picture: Drive iQ is a web-based road safety and well-being programme that encourages users to reflect on their daily journeys.



Article written by Kate Ashley-Norman
17th July 2023


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