Why am I being asked to do a driver training session?
Drivers sometimes challenge their employers’ requirement for them to undergo a driving assessment on the grounds that they have been driving for many years and are therefore experienced.
However, many things have changed over the last 20-30 years, not only for drivers but also for employers.
Traffic has become much heavier over the years, car technology is now a great deal more sophisticated and there have been changes to the Highway Code.
Employers have a duty of care to both employees whose role involves driving on company business and to other road users.
The employer needs to be sure that its employees are safe and competent to drive without putting either themselves or other road users at risk.
If the driver is using company vehicles, their employer will want to keep overheads as low as possible, so it makes sense to ensure that drivers have training in safe and economical driving to keep fuel and vehicle maintenance costs as low as possible.
In the worst-case situation where someone dies in a traffic accident that involves one of their drivers out on company business, the employer could be vulnerable to a charge of corporate manslaughter if an investigation reveals that their driver was at fault.
An assessment is an opportunity both to learn and to brush up on their skills. How often do we check for changes to the Highway Code, for example?
Also, if an employer is paying for a driver’s assessment, what they learn about how driving technique can help with fuel economy and reduced maintenance costs will benefit them when they are in their own vehicles and not only in company vehicles.
So, rather than feeling offended that they are being asked to undergo an assessment, long-term, experienced driver should see it as an opportunity.