EconomyDriver training, key in preventing road accidents

Driver training, key in preventing road accidents

(Expansión) – In May of this year, the General Law on Mobility and Road Safety was published, establishing a series of regulations to prevent accidents on asphalt. Among the most relevant aspects is the application of the breathalyzer in all states of the country, approved speed limits, as well as the prohibition of the use of cell phones or any device when operating a vehicle.

However, a large part of these security measures fall on an essential character: the driver. Thus, the question arises about what factors could intervene to reduce accident rates in the country.

Taking the wheel is a huge responsibility that increases depending on the characteristics of the vehicle (private, passenger transport, merchandise, etc.), in addition to being a matter in which lives are involved, including those of the drivers.

In this way, the technological systems produced by truck and bus manufacturers are today allies of the driver and this, in turn, is a fundamental element of accident prevention, so it is crucial to train drivers, otherwise , they will lack tools that add up to have a safer environment on the country’s highways and roads.

In this regard, the latest study by the Mexican Institute of Transportation (MIT) measured that 70% of road accidents are related to the driver. Meanwhile, the National Alliance for Road Safety (ANASEVI) indicates that today, the road mortality rate is 11 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, a figure that has doubled in the last 10 years, but which is still disturbing if you look at incidences at the national level, where more than half of the deaths are accumulated by nine entities: Jalisco, Guanajuato, State of Mexico, Michoacán, Chihuahua, Mexico City, Sinaloa, Puebla and Nuevo León.

It is essential that each company behind freight or passenger transport fleets equip their drivers with the knowledge and technology to minimize automobile accidents, that they master its use well and take full advantage of innovation in the sector. For this, it is urgent to follow the following points:

Check the experience of the driver

Checking basic data such as the age of majority and verifying the licenses corresponding to the vehicle to be operated is not idle. In addition, knowing if their experience is sufficient will be key to specifying how to complete their preparation and what type of instruction to offer them. This privileges your prompt and assertive reaction during any road mishap.

Use technology and telemetry as allies

Verify the forms of driving through the technology that transportation can offer today. For example, speed control depending on the zones and telemetry, which detects key points in the way operators drive and allows them to be qualified with various parameters; it informs how careful they are to prevent mishaps and is key to limit the speed of the vehicle in specific areas marked in geofences. This information will serve to give them feedback and implement best practices.

Other very useful tools are the active simulators, which bring drivers closer to real driving situations.

Provide ongoing training

No one should hit the road with a new or barely familiar vehicle without prior training, despite their years of experience and knowledge on various buses or trucks. Knowing the vehicle to be driven beforehand will avoid unexpected reactions in an accident, it will make it easier for you to assimilate the powertrain technology and the proper use of the active assistance that the vehicle has.

A benefit of good training is fuel efficiency (40% of the operating cost), which has a positive impact in economic and environmental terms, using less diesel to travel the same kilometers.

Monitor the welfare of operators

Checking the health of the operators is transcendental for a good execution of their work. Through constant medical examinations, risk factors are foreseen in the short, medium or long term. Also, a strict policy of zero tolerance for the influence of any substance is recommended.

Another advantage of training operators, in addition to the operational and competitive ones, is the preventive and human nature, since each year there is a risk of losing 530 million pesos due to the fatal and non-fatal consequences of road safety, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In conclusion, in order to fully comply with the General Law on Mobility and Road Safety and avoid accidents, collaboration between business owners of fleets, the vehicle industry and the government in turn is necessary, but it is also essential that all companies with automobiles be assertive in the face of new technologies in the sector and public policies.

Editor’s note: Jorge Alejandro Navarro Inostroza is the Commercial and Services Director of SCANIA Buses. He has more than 17 years of experience in the automotive sector and is a customer-focused executive. Follow him on LinkedIn and/or write to [email protected] The opinions published in this column belong exclusively to the author.

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