The literature review followed the five pillars of road safety, as set by the World Health Organization, WHO. The pillars are targeted at decision-makers on a national level to improve traffic safety around the world. The five pillars include:
- road safety management,
- safer roads and mobility,
- safer vehicles,
- safer road users, and
- post-crash response.
The literature review in this study followed this classification.
The literature review confirmed the assumption that although efforts to improve traffic safety have been (and still are) active and continuous, corporate traffic safety and loss prevention in vehicle fleets have been of minor interest in comparison to traffic safety research in general. Many of the related studies have been conducted in Australia and the United Kingdom.
The study involved an extensive statistical analysis, conducted using an analysis of keywords, based mainly on accident descriptions as written in claims notifications. A keyword analysis on the If statistics revealed that the five most common keywords or themes in the claims reports included reversing, objects in the built environment, human factors, turning, and snow with slippery conditions.
According to the analysis, reversing appeared to be the most common factor related to claims. In the statistics, reversing was typically connected with objects in the built environment, and "human factors", which in this context refers on a general level to various defects in the driver's observation and/or failure to control the vehicle. The high number of cases involving objects in the built environment underlines how urban areas are typical as accident scenes.
A major part of the study consisted of interviews with If's own experts in motor insurance and related services. The interviews pointed out four key areas in corporate traffic safety promotion, namely:
- mobility, and
Factors relating to "drivers" include driver education, driving behaviour, and monitoring of drivers. "Vehicles" relates to, for example, vehicle maintenance, additional equipment and technologies in the vehicles, and vehicle types. "Mobility" includes various external factors that can influence safety and the smoothness of driving. Examples include route planning and the weather. The fourth group, "companies", refers to company practices, including safety policy, management support, choice of contractors, and awareness of industry-specific factors that have an influence on safety.
The outcomes of this study will be refined and explored in greater detail. If wants to support clients in traffic safety promotion; the interest is shared when it comes to loss prevention for vehicles and fleets, not to mention saving lives. In the case of corporate traffic safety, there are various ways to promote it, as confirmed in this study.
Some ways can be targeted at supervisors and management, to help them identify points of safety promotion during daily planning and management. Other ways can be targeted at drivers, such as training in safe driving. An interesting area is helping the client companies to identify and remove avoidable traffic and vehicle fleet risks. This can cover, for example, traffic and route planning, as well as loss prevention in pit areas. Risks to identify and avoid can include schedules that are too tight, unsafe practices while driving, and the identification of risky areas on routinely used routes.
Did you know?
Braking distance from 80 km/h to 0 km/h with 1 second reaction time takes
- on dry road 50 meters and 3 seconds
- on snowy road 105 meters and 8 seconds
- on icy road 187 meters and 16 seconds
With 2-3 seconds of reaction time, an accident can still be avoided with controlled stopping or bypassing or straightening the slipping car.
When driving, a single two-second glance doubles the risk of an accident
- In a study it took on average 86 seconds to enter a full address correctly to GPS using a touch screen
While increasing our driving experience, age lengthens our recovery time between tasks, slow the reaction times and narrow the visual fields. This emphasizes the importance of minimizing distractions while driving, including devices that are aiming to help us (such as navigators and speech-controlled hands free -equipment).
Multitasking, is a major accident risk. It is impossible for the brain to truly focus on two things at the same time. Keep your eyes and mind on the road!
Alcohol and different medications can decrease alertness and reaction times seriously also on the day after. The same applies to otherwise impaired health condition, such as even ordinary illnesses and sleeping disorders. Truthful observation of own health condition, alertness and ability to perform well enough is of focal importance in traffic safety.
Hallinan J.T. 2009. Why we make mistakes. Broadway Books. New York.