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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 work experiences.

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.

Employers’ post-testing qualification preferences

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 insurance cover.

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 qualification

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 ability.

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 drivers.

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