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Young drivers need further training for at-work driving

A major study by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has found that a new driving for work qualification would be welcomed by employers because the current system of learner training and testing does not adequately prepare young people to drive as part of their jobs.
The safety charity’s Young Drivers at Work project, funded by the Department for Transport, looked at the potential for developing new interventions to support young employees when they are driving for work.
More than 60 per cent of employers who took part in the study reported that the learner driver training and testing process did not adequately prepare 17-24-year-olds for the challenges of at-work driving.
And more than half of those surveyed said they would like to see a post-test driving for work qualification introduced, with accident reduction being the most common benefit cited.
Young drivers at work face, and create, a higher risk than other drivers. For example, figures show that young motorists are more at risk of being killed or injured on the roads than more experienced drivers. It is also estimated that one in three crashes involves a vehicle being driven for work.
RoSPA Generic Cialis Online surveyed 407 employers and managers using a questionnaire and conducted 47 in-depth telephone interviews for the study. Twenty-five young workers also took part in focus groups.
Young people working for the organisations that took part in the study drove in a variety of roles, including making sales and service visits, making deliveries, carrying passengers and driving vehicles on sites.
Three-quarters of employers who completed the questionnaire reported that their young workers were driving in situations that were not covered by the current learner driver training and testing process, for example at night or in icy conditions. And more than two-thirds of employers interviewed on the telephone said their young employees were driving vehicles for work that were larger than a car (e.g. a van), and in which they were not trained or tested when learning to drive.
Developing safer driver attitudes, driving in different conditions, enhanced hazard perception and motorway driving were the top issues employers would like a post-test qualification to include. They wanted the qualification to be accredited to a national standard, but stressed that it must be optional, flexible and able to be tailored to the needs of different organisations.
Duncan Vernon, RoSPA’s road safety manager, said: “Our research found that there is a clear skills and training gap. Young workers are being required to drive vehicles, and in conditions and situations, in which they have limited, if any, prior experience.
“Many employers reported that they did not rely on the driving licence as evidence of competence in driving for work and many conduct their own assessments before allowing their employees to drive for work purposes. It is not surprising, therefore, that so many said they would find a post-test driving for work qualification useful.”
The report recommends the development of a modular post-test driving for work qualification which should safely increase the experience of young drivers both generally and in situations identified as necessary by employers. It also proposes consultation and involvement of the insurance industry to establish how achieving the qualification could be recognised.
Based on the findings of the research, RoSPA will also be developing a free Young Drivers at Work Workshop to address some of the issues raised by employers and young drivers. Employers and others will be able to run the session, supported by a “how to” guide intended to encourage and enable the delivery of effective workshops.
RoSPA is working on the Young Drivers at Work project in partnership with the Department for Transport, Driving Standards Agency, Driving for Better Business, Birmingham City Council, Buckinghamshire County Council and Lancashire County Council.

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