How UK Employers Cope With High
Young Driver Accident Rates
The young driver accident rate is
extremely high on a worldwide basis. This concerns many
UK employers, who rely on young employees to perform
tasks that require driving. One way that many UK
employers are helping to reduce the accident rate is to
provide their young drivers with driver training
specifically related to work conditions. Numerous
employers feel that the current system of training and
testing driver competency for work is inadequate.
The Royal Society for the Prevention
of Accidents (RoSPA) recently completed a study which
revealed that 60% of 407 employers felt this way. As a
result of not being able to rely on the current system
of training and licensing, many of these employers
assess their employees’ driving competence themselves.
Numerous employers are using restrictions and probation
periods to help structure the young drivers’ driving for
More RoSPA research results
The recent RoSPA study also revealed
that three-quarters of the employers felt that the young
driver employees were driving under conditions not
covered by the current learner test. Over two-thirds of
young employees were driving vehicles larger than they
were trained or tested for. Over 50% of the 407
employers surveyed want a national post-test
qualification introduced into the driving for work
driver training system.
Many of the employers felt that a
post-test qualification would be useful for accident
reduction and compliance with health and safety
legislation. They also thought it would demonstrate
their commitment to safety in the community. Over half
of the respondents believed a post-test qualification
would help them to identify safer candidates for jobs
that required driving.
The majority of employers preferred
the post-test qualifications to include developing the
young drivers’ attitudes toward safety. They also
preferred that enhanced hazard perception be included.
Moreover, the employers wanted motorway driving, and
driving under diverse conditions, including inclement
weather included in the post-test qualification.
Employers also felt a new
standardised national qualification would help show
their commitment to safety to their insurance companies.
Many also felt it would lower fuel expense, save on
administration expenses, and reduce vehicle wear and
tear. They also believed it would result in less staff
sickness absence and minimized vehicle down-time. Other
foreseen benefits were lower insurance premiums and more
inclusive policies for young drivers.
Various employers and employees
thought it would be of as much benefit to the employee
as to the employer. Having a standardised qualification
would make it easier to prove driving skills to a new
employer without having to restart driving skill
assessment and probation periods. It could help to lower
insurance premiums, as well as make it easier to get
Many felt this would also be a way
for drivers to keep track of their own progress in
improving their driving skills. Being qualified could
raise a person’s self-confidence level, and could
transfer benefits into the person’s social driving. The
increased training could provide more safeguarding of
the young drivers’ families, as well as for themselves.
It may also be a way of avoiding having to endure
certain restrictions if you are a good driver.
Reservations regarding post-test
There are some people who have
reservations about having a standardised national
qualification. Some were concerned about the cost to
businesses. Others felt that a qualification would just
make matters over-complicated, with too many regulations
to keep up with. Some employers were concerned that it
would cost businesses too much time and money to keep up
with the necessary qualification training and testing.
Some people were concerned that any
accreditation scheme would result in needless financial
burdens on the drivers already doing well. They were
also afraid that it would create a situation where
employers already providing good training would incur
more cost, while the worst On the Road Risk managers
would do even less to manage their employees’ driving
Numerous employers and employees
preferred to just have the learning process improved
without requiring a post-test qualification. They wanted
the training courses revised to better prepare people
for driving at work. Some employers simply felt that
their organization was already providing adequate
training so a post-test qualification was unnecessary.
Moreover, some simply realised that the qualification
training would not completely resolve the issue of the
high accident rate for young drivers.
Young employees’ opinions
Although some young employees thought
that post-testing qualification was a good idea, many
thought it was unnecessary. These young drivers believed
that there was a limit to what could be taught in
training courses. To them, passing the learner driving
test was adequate and that the only way they would
improve their driving was to make mistakes while driving
in the real world. Employers and employees alike agreed
that any training would have to be through personal and
interactive training modes in order to be effective.
Either way, whether there is or isn’t
a post-test qualification doesn’t really matter that
much. It’s still up to the individual whether or not he
or she wants to earn the qualification. Thus, lowering
the high young driver accident rate still boils down to
what kind of attitude the individual has. It’s still up
to the individual driver to determine what level of
responsibility he or she is willing to take while
driving. Only the individual young driver can decide
whether he or she needs to improve a particular driving
skill or make an attitude adjustment. For that matter,
every driver on the road needs to take the time to
improve a driving skill or make an attitude adjustment.
Then we can lower all accident rates instead of just the
young driver rates. It would also become possible for
insurance companies to lower all the premiums for
everyone and underwrite more inclusive cover for young