Helping your drivers recover confidence after an accident.
Many businesses employ drivers, or require employees to drive as part of their jobs, and most employers will be aware that they have a duty of care under Health and Safety regulations both for the drivers and for other road users.
It makes sound economic sense to ensure a company’s drivers are both legal, competent and courteous drivers when they are on the road on business not only for road safety and employer liability reasons but also because their behaviour could affect the company’s reputation.
One area that employers often do not consider, however, is how to help a driver who has unfortunately been involved in a collision and has lost confidence in their driving ability.
An accident can be a traumatic experience, regardless of who is at fault, especially if someone has been badly injured or even died as a result. Involvement in an accident can affect subsequent driver behaviour, destroying confidence and leading to over-cautious driving.
There is an argument that a nervous or over-cautious driver is an unsafe driver, principally because other drivers will become impatient and react with potentially unsafe behaviour such as tailgating, beeping horns or risky overtaking.
Equally, your driver employee’s loss of confidence may be affecting their productivity if, for example, they are required to make deliveries to deadlines.
Professional help to restore driver confidence is a sound business investment
There are several steps a professional instructor may take to help restore lost confidence for a previously and otherwise reliable employee.
Often when people have had a traumatic experience they try to deal with it by burying it and “moving on” or they will blame themselves even when they were found not to be at fault.
So, the first step is to get them to talk about the accident, describing the circumstances and then helping to analyse methodically the sequence of events leading up to it. The imagination can be a powerful force, especially when a person tries to ignore an experience. Talking about it can help reduce things to manageable proportions.
The next step is to visit the scene and to talk through how to approach the location safely such as if the collision happened at a road junction.
This is about getting them to analyse the potential dangers at the location, think about what happened before and during the accident and how they can in future anticipate and drive in a way that will minimise the likelihood of something going wrong.
Loss of confidence is about feeling powerless or helpless and giving people strategies that allow them to think ahead methodically will help restore their sense of having some control over a situation.