Vehicle technology can lead to decreased safety, says report

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Increased automation in modern vehicles has in some cases led to falling standards and an increase in accident numbers within the transport and logistics sector, according to a report by health and safety training firm RRC Training.

Some of the technology designed to improve transport and logistics safety was in fact found to reduce driver engagement to a minimum, increasing the risk of concentration lapses and tiredness.

Robin Jull, group safety manager at Lenham Storage, who took part in the report, said: “Some vehicles have been limited to 54mph or 56mph and they literally have forward, reverse and drive.  This makes drivers very tired on long journeys because they have nothing to do other than sit there; they don’t even have to change gear.”

According to the research, driver tiredness accounts for one in six serious crashes, while inattention causes a high number of collisions.

It was also highlighted that the transport, storage and communications sector has a higher rate of injuries leading to a work absence of more than three days than any other main industry group, with 1,246 per 100,000 employees.

Gary Fallaize, managing director of RRC Training, said: “Vehicles have evolved to the point where drivers need to do so little that concentration levels inevitably drop. Technology can play a big role in safety, but not if the way drivers are trained and treated fails to keep pace with this technological change.  At the heart of good, safe driving will always sit a well-trained, well-treated driver.”

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