Outcomes from the 6th UK-based Virtual Risk Manager benchmarking group meeting, March 2013
26th March 2013

The sixth meeting of the UK-based Virtual Risk Manager benchmarking group was held March 20 2013 at the UK head office of Interactive Driving Systems in Huddersfield. The meeting discussed a range of key aims and topics for work-related road safety.

The start of meeting round-table identified the following summary of participant aims:

  1. Continue to maximise the full benefits of Virtual Risk Manager including newer modules such as RiskCOACH, DriverINDEX and OneToOne.
  2. Discuss strategies for at risk drivers, foreign licences and fitness to drive for older drivers.
  3. Sustain, maintain and re-invigorate a mature program with very low event rates.
  4. Continue to evolve program and processes.

Claim type comparisons were discussed, including: 'Hit whilst parked' and 'Reversing' claims. Good practice guidance documents, comms, management coaching courses and online RiskCOACH modules for drivers are available on both topics via www.virtualriskmanager.net/news Managing process, reporting, good practice, coaching and compliance were covered in some detail.

Policies and processes for dealing with convictions (for recruitment, new and existing drivers) were discussed. Contracts of employment, HR and existing disciplinary processes were identified as key areas for focus. The general consensus was that good practice was to undertake electronic licence checks annually for all drivers and more frequently for those with penalty points. 6+ points in the UK licencing system was seen as an important trigger for an at-risk driver OneToOne discussion process, irrespective of the type of driver, vehicle ownership, or when, where and how the infringements occurred.

Multi-driver vehicles were discussed, focusing on identifying which driver was driving at the time of any vehicle damage and honesty in reporting. The 'next driver auditing the previous' with regards to damage checks and unique driver identification (e.g. via swipe cards) for utilisation of telemetry data were seen as important. Use of telemetry data and in-vehicle cameras was discussed in some detail, as was the potential to fit telemetry in company cars as well as commercial vehicles. One participant is fitting its telemetry system in company cars driven by a very high risk user group - its exhibition and sales team. Others are currently only focusing on commercial vehicles.

It was agreed that sustaining a program long term requires effective leadership, focus and engaging line managers in process. www.virtualriskmanager.net/mission was recommended as a management coaching course built into the Virtual Risk Manager process for all line managers and key stakeholders. MIS user statistics, and WebEx based or face to face management coaching was also seen to assist in this process. Such management coaching is supported and included as part of the Virtual Risk Manager program, with a range of workshops and events shown at www.virtualriskmanager.net/workshops

Research on the 'manager effect' on work-related road safety was discussed, including the following paper:

  1. Darby P, Quddus M, Ison S, Raeside R & Murray W. The Influence of Managers on fleet vehicle crashes: an application of mixed multilevel models (13-3577). Paper presented at the 92nd Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., January 13-17, 2013.

The paper and several other similar research documents can be obtained via www.virtualriskmanager.net/research

Effective utilisation of the Virtual Risk Manager OneToOne was discussed, including the importance of identifying the best person (line manager, supervisor or site based assessor / trainer / coach) to undertake the process.

Single sign on (SSO) was identified as an effective approach to allow easy / secure access to Virtual Risk Manager. Interactive Driving Systems works with participant IT departments to facilitate implementation.

Eyesight checks for drivers were discussed as a good idea to drive vehicles as well as computers. Participants had in place a range of methodologies for ensuring checks are undertaken.

The system's Comparative Data reports where reviewed in detail. Participant feedback was taken on board to continue to develop the reports in line with user requirements. These evolving tools provide Virtual Risk Manager users at all levels within the organisation with even greater visibility and opportunities to benchmark their risk and interventions data, both internally and externally.

The session evaluation process identified Wednesday September 25 2013 as the date for the seventh meeting, with the following draft agenda:

  1. Virtual Risk Manager Comparative Data review.
  2. Presentation from one participant.
  3. Topical issues surgery.
  4. DriverINDEX, claims and risk factor benchmarking.
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