It’s always an interesting time of year, when we look ahead to what might happen over the next 12 months. Some of the hottest topics over recent months have been the global driver shortage, COVID-19 and the reduction in miles driven vs the increase in collisions, Brexit, supply chain issues/shortages and inflation, fuel prices, maintenance costs, and sustainability. But where does driver RISK MANAGEMENT & SAFETY fit in? Here are Ed Dubens, CEO/Founder of eDriving’s, top five predictions for 2022:
1. Keeping employees and their families safe from COVID!
Covid is still with us and is likely to be for some time while we work out if, and how, we are going to live with it long-term. Driver risk management and safety programmes will need to continue to evolve to not only protect drivers while out and about but, just as importantly, to protect their families when they return home.
2. Increased demand for driver safety programmes to help address rising repair costs
Supply chain issues have pushed the prices of vehicle parts up and many components are in short supply – how long this situation lasts is anyone’s guess when you look at the global outlook! The number one way for fleets to tackle increasing costs associated with repairs is to REDUCE COLLISIONS! And the number one way to do this is to implement an effective driver risk management programme that guides drivers to safer behaviours. By identifying drivers most at risk early on, companies can provide training to address risky behaviours, not only reducing collisions, incidents, injuries, and licence endorsements, but reducing associated costs such as repairs, insurance, employee downtime, vehicle replacements, and so on.
3. Adoption of EVs and an increase in other sustainability efforts
EV sales, messaging and interest is through the roof. Many of my clients are exploring the direct relationship between defensive driving, eco-driving, and sustainability! For me it is a direct relationship – you cannot have one without the other! EVs may not be an option for all fleets just yet but EV sales will not be slowing in 2022.
4. Greater awareness of the sources of driving distraction
With in-vehicle technology on the increase, there is more potential than ever for even the smallest distractions to lead to an increase in collisions and injuries. While most large fleets address driver distraction with a focus on smartphone usage, I expect that they will need to tighten their policies to cope with advances in in-vehicle technology and widen the scope to include a risk assessment of the driving environment in which their drivers operate – which of course can vary dramatically from vehicle to vehicle across the world. I expect to see an ongoing increase in collisions caused by distraction in all its forms – Visual, Mechanical and Cognitive, until all fleets recognise the importance of focusing on the driving task while driving or work purposes.
5. BIGGER data, and MORE privacy concerns
Forget big data, it’s getting ENORMOUS!!! AI, Machine Learning, Expert Systems etc. etc. Fleets can already see everything they need to know, and more, about their vehicles and drivers at the touch of a button. But the more technology that fleets use (and particularly the more technology suppliers that fleets use), the more potential there is for driver privacy concerns to escalate. Identifying suppliers that prioritise driver privacy is key, as is working with all relevant departments of the company, unions and works councils (if applicable) to ensure that driver privacy and security is central to the mission and the programme. Privacy is going to continue to grow as an issue in 2022 until more fleets learn to put their drivers’ right to privacy at the core of their programme design, and learn to share in the benefits of these exciting new technologies.
Visit the eDriving website for more insight, and for information about eDriving’s award-winning driver risk management programmes.