If we all think about driver training for a couple of minutes, chances are that we are reminded—at least for those of us who have a licence—of our own driving lessons. This is probably why, when we think about fleet driver training, it puts us in mind of our driving instructor teaching us how to use the features of a vehicle.
Chances are, we could probably share stories regarding our experiences with our own instructor that would share similarities with some of the fleet training methods. But this is apparently going to change somewhat as new techniques have been considered lately, that could be introduced into driver training. It is in fact necessary, especially for professional drivers, for driver training to be on-going and for a range of skills to be included in fleet driver training; the kind of skills that are needed for the job which would survive beyond a driving test, to be refined with further experience.
This is commonly referred to, according to current trends, as driver coaching. But what are the skills that drivers—apart from the act of driving itself—need to master?
#1 - Problem-solving attitude
Drivers’ previous knowledge has a great impact on the training: most likely many drivers are quite proud and think they have had sufficient training on a vehicle and driving techniques. This is well and good, but you can also teach drivers to hone problem-solving skills. They will hopefully appreciate this, as it will make them much more independent and competent. Focus on observing certain situations and help them develop their ability to anticipate, improve their judgement, and manage risk assessment for the protection of themselves as well as to cultivate safe driving habits.
#2 - Reliability
If driving instructors focus more on creating a trustful relationship with drivers, they will instil within them the sense of responsibility they need in order to meet the challenges of their job. For this, trainers and companies need to know all the aspects of the job and understand them; as it is doesn't just simply come down to “driving from A to B”.
#3 - Awareness
Drivers need to develop an awareness of what both they and other road users are doing, and this vigilance has to be maintained at all times—it has to become second nature. This could be achieved by encouraging drivers to reflect on their own experiences on the road and by that they will identify strategies to achieve their professional goals by driving safely.