Research conducted recently by the IOPDC has highlighted the growing requirement for the establishment of certificated professional training programmes to be available to chauffeurs and chauffeur operators.
Over 70% of chauffeur companies surveyed in London and the South identified better Driver Training as an essential element in the future development plans of their operations. Given the increasing legislation within our industry, the Institute sees this as a natural progression towards better standards and levels of professionalism for all.
Naturally, in these times of heightened security risks, some chauffeurs do need to be able to drive in a threat avoidance style! It is just one example of a driving technique that a professional chauffeur might incorporate as part of his overall skills.
Through the IOPDC, chauffeurs can gain access to driver training at all levels, which will deliver multiple benefits. Better driving causes fewer stresses on the driver and the vehicle, and can even extend the vehicle’s working life, while also reducing running costs, whether that vehicle is a car, taxi, van, or even a bus.
Some simple modifications to individual driving styles could also have a dramatic effect on reducing environmental impact. By learning various driving skills, drivers and chauffeur operators should be able to gain more specialised and varied work.
From an insurance perspective, drivers having undergone a certified training programme will generally present a better insurance risk and thereby reduce the frequency of claims and the costs to the insurer.
Obviously, vehicle insurance cover is not only a legal requirement, but for professional drivers it gives the added peace of mind of knowing that, if the worst should happen, even in the event of a total loss, their business can continue to trade.
There is a number of ways in which companies, drivers, and chauffeur operators can not only manage their own risk, but also look to reduce their premiums, and these are all areas where the iopdc is working to help its members.
In completing Health and Safety audits, the inclusion of driver training has been proven to reduce the frequency of claims and the subsequent cost of claims can plummet. However, in
response to the ever increasing costs of fuel and the growing number of requests received by the Institute in this respect, in partnership with a leading driver training organisation, we shall be offering a training course that focuses specifically on the benefits of saving fuel, by using Eco Smart Driving techniques that have been proven to reduce fuel consumption by between 6% and 25% depending on driving style.
In addition to improved fuel economy, other benefits of the training are:
• Reduced driver (and passenger) stress levels
• Reduced road traffic incidents
• Reduced wear and tear on vehicles
• Improved residual value of vehicles
• Reduced carbon footprint
• Supports both Corporate andSocial Responsibility
The iopdc will also be encouraging actively both chauffeurs and chauffeur operators to participate in programmes covering all aspects of driver training including:
* the responsibilities of the professional chauffeur
* route planning for comfort
* efficiency and safety
* courtesy and etiquette skills training.
* coping with a wide range of road surfaces and weather conditions
* enhanced security awareness
* courtesy and skid/car control training By raising standards for professional drivers, the Institute aims to improve conditions for all road users, as the professionally trained driver will invariably have a most positive effect on any and everybody with whom road space is shared.
In return for offering comprehensive training to its members, the IOPDC aims to encourage them to take the lead in demonstrating and promoting better, safer, cleaner, greener and more judicious driving.