How to train your drivers

ERS Medical driver trainer Steve Dixon uses Crystal Ball data and footage to give staff more insight into their driving behaviours, and to reduce fleet costs.

Steve Dixon is the ERS Medical fleet driver trainer, and has been an instructor for 15 years, having previously worked as ambulance personnel. Using the data he collects from Crystal Ball, he works with new and existing staff to improve standards and safety, and drive down costs.

He explains how it works: “Using Crystal Ball gives us the next level of assessment, and is a tool that is key to our business, ultimately. What is very important is reducing the number of incidents, but accident are accidents, and what the system has achieved is reducing the cost of these accidents, and reducing driver speeds so the incidents we do have are less severe, vehicles are off the road of less time, staff are not off work due to injuries, and that is hugely important to us. We walk them through the incident, for investigation purposes and for post-incident management, to improve driver awareness and safety.

Steve Dixon, fleet driver trainer, ERS Medical

“What we do is use the footage we have got from Crystal Ball to give examples of what happens out on the road: there’s nothing better than video footage to show people this."

“It allows us to monitor our drivers because ultimately we’re a patient transport service, or we’re handling delicate, sensitive material as a medical courier and our driver behaviour has to match what we have in the back of the vehicles.”

Steve’s job is not just to manage incidents, but improve driving expertise, and he uses the footage to show drivers what can happen out on the road, and what they need to look out for, as well as being the basis of a driver league table. With 350 vehicles, and around 750-800 drivers and a number of operational staff, Steve has developed an internal driver training programme specifically for ERS Medical, with two or three courses a month for new starters, and ongoing training for existing staff.

“What we do is use the footage we have got from Crystal Ball to give examples of what happens out on the road: there’s nothing better than video footage to show people this. We’ve had a couple of incidents highlighted by Crystal Ball of aquaplaning onto the verge as a result of driving through standing water, or where drivers haven’t seen something in the middle of the road because of full beam lights coming the other way. The Crystal Ball footage lets our drivers know these things do occur.

“The data Crystal Ball provides gives us access to speeding and driver behaviours which we use in a driver league table. That incentivises drivers, which acts as a training tool.

“Self-awareness among drivers is OK, but sometimes you do need somebody else looking at you, and I can’t be with them every time they go out on a journey.”

Jeroen van Os, finance director, ERS Medical

Mitigating claims and protecting people

“We specialise in healthcare transportation, and so with fleet being one of our key resources and assets, we felt we had to have a good product that was flexible and could grow with the organisation, and could protect those assets. Crystal Ball was a good match,” says Jeroen van Os, finance director, ERS Medical

“People matter to us, they are at the heart of everything we do, whether they are patients or our drivers and staff, and we felt we had to have a product that could protect them. We identified Crystal Ball as a supplier who could do this.

“The Crystal Ball tracking system is very successful in mitigating accident claim circumstances, and use the it to ensure we know where our vehicles are at any given time, and also where they are en-route for patient or courier pick-up services.

“We have got a very good control over insurance claims through the software and video footage, from Crystal Ball and we have made huge steps forward in terms of mitigating exposure and our insurance broker feels it is a great product to have when it comes to claims. But also, if we know we are at fault in an incident, we can manage that and keep our costs under control, so it is very important for our insurance underwriter as well.”

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