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Safe Urban Driving- The Challenges & Benefits

 

There are many additional things for drivers to consider and be aware of when driving in urban areas – various hazards can exist which are unique to urban landscapes and being aware of these is essential. Therefore, Safe Urban Driving (SUD) is essential training for operators and commercial drivers who use goods/public service vehicles.

Safe urban driving not only keeps the driver and company safe from risk but also vulnerable road users, who are more prevalent in urban landscapes such as children, pedestrians and cyclists.

Urban Landscapes Bring Specific Challenges

Driving in towns and cities brings about its own specific challenges – not only are the roads much different to motorways and rural settings but there is often increased traffic flow as well as a much higher number of pedestrians and other road users.

In cities and towns, the traffic is constantly changing – with congestion common. Due to this there can be a lot of reckless driving witnessed in urban areas – it is important to maintain safe driving protocols in these instances to protect yourself and others. There is also a higher number of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

Driver Schemes for Urban Landscapes

Due to the challenges facing drivers in urban settings, there are various driver schemes which exist to help drivers and operators to work safely within urban landscapes. The schemes include:

  • Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS)
  • Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety Programme (CLOCS)
  • Work Related Road Risk (WRRR)

Our SUD training is fully designed to meet the requirements of these schemes.

Driver Standards

It is not only best practice to invest in driver schemes and training for yourself, as a driver, or for your company, as an operator – but it also can be requirement for goods vehicles who need access to specific cities, especially London. Whether or not you plan to drive in urban settings it is always best practice to ensure you meet the driver standards – as there may be times you unexpectedly have to travel within a town or city.

It may also be a requirement for drivers to meet these standards to access construction sites. Luckily, it is easy enough to get SUD training from companies such as Driver Hire Training.

Elements of SUD Training

There is both a theory and practical element to SUD training – the practical element being an on-bike element. In the practical elemtent of SUD training the delegate will ride a bike, in order to understand what cyclists face when they are using our roads. The purpose of this practical element is to allow drivers to see through the eyes of other, more vulnerable, road users.

The theory part covers things such as changing urban environments, vulnerable road users and defensive driving techniques where the practical element covers driver attitude and perception, introduction to active travel, fitness and health and hazard recognition.

At Driver Hire Training we are fortunate enough to be able to continue SUD training in an approved, COVID-secure way as all of our CPC course are available to complete online. (Please note that on-bike training is subject to local lockdown arrangements that may be in place. Speak to our sales advisor to find out more.) Additionally, the SUD course provides 7 hours of training which count towards your Driver CPC training legal requirements.

Why is Safe Driving So Important?

drive safely

It may seem like an obvious question at first – of course safe driving is important right? However, if you look at what safe driving actually is and means you may find that it is something you’re not doing all the time – not only that but their benefits to safe driving past ensuring your own safety. This is even more true when driving is your job.

With statistics showing that fatal accidents in the UK every year have remained static since 2012, staying around 1700 mark it is important to do everything possible to reduce the risk of road traffic accidents. Aside from the obvious reduction in risk of accidents, safe driving has many other benefits.

It Benefits the Driver

First of all, safe driving benefits the driver. Driving can be a stressful job, and even more specifically a long and enduring job. Driving safely is far more relaxing than not, and therefore helps to reduce any further stress on the road. In addition to improving your mood on the road – safe driving most importantly means you are much more likely to return home safe at the end of your shift.

It Benefits the Company

As a driver, safe driving benefits your company and their reputation. As a company – you want your drivers to drive as safe as possible for both their benefit and your own. When a driver is involved in an accident, however small, costs companies a lot in time, money and reputation.

Safe driving, whilst important for people, is also important for vehicles. Smooth and safe driving not only minimises accidents but also over time reduces wear and tear, improves fuel economy and reduces overall running costs.

There is a lot of time that goes into dealing with the follow up of an accident as well hefty costs in terms of repairs and potentially driver time-off work. Not only that but there is a lot of reputational risk which comes with driver accidents – which can sometimes take a long time to heal.

It Benefits Society

As mentioned, there are a high number of fatal accidents which take place each year in the UK – Department for Transport provisional figures for 2019 show that 1748 fatal accidents were reported in the UK. In addition to this, there are many thousands of other accidents which cause both serious and minor injuries to a range of road users.

It is important to remember, it is not only those physically involved in the accident who are affected – collisions and accidents can also affect witnesses as well as the families and friends of anyone involved.

Regular Training is The Answer

Even those who consider themselves the best of drivers will start to develop bad habits over time, these may be minor but can make all the difference. There is a legal requirement for LGV drivers to do Driver CPC – by choosing a safety focused course from Driver Hire Training you can ensure you or your drivers are driving as safe as possible and reducing their risk of accidents. We have a range of popular courses available, including:

Take advantage of the requirement today and make the world a safer place for everyone by enrolling yourself or your drivers onto a safety module today. All of our CPC courses are available online which means you can complete them from the comfort of your own home.

For those looking to become qualified, our Transport Manager CPC course also contains a number of safety modules.