The hazard perception evaluation tests drivers through driving simulations and multiple choice tests to determine areas that require improvement.
SANFORD, Fla. — This year's string of fatal bus crashes has been a bane to a motorcoach industry that prides itself on providing the safest form of transportation available. In response, the American Bus Association has called for an increase in inspections, and officials have acted to suspend operations over safety issues in an effort to prevent more unnecessary crashes.
What’s important to note is the use of the word “crash” as opposed to “accident,” which stems from a 1997 declaration by the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that “crashes are not accidents… motor vehicle crashes and injuries are predictable, preventable events. . . in fact, they are predictable results of specific actions.”
With the correct training and oversight, the “specific actions” that cause or aggravate crashes can be prevented, and this is what Compendium Software Systems LLC's BrightFleet training program aims to do. While it has only been on the market for about six months, users have reported up to a 40% reduction in collisions and an average ROI exceeding 900%.
Before any actual training begins, the program determines a driver's weak points through what is called a "hazard perception evaluation," which consists of two parts: a driving simulation and a multiple choice test. The evaluation is available in three categories: passenger vehicle, medium-duty vehicle, and heavy (commercial) vehicle. It ranks drivers as low, medium, or high safety risks, and prescribes an individualized training program to improve the specific areas where they need help.
Hazards can even appear in any of the vehicle's mirrors to simulate real-life situations.
One training module turns the existing company policy into a 30-question multiple choice test to see how well employees know it.
Another training module, the “Eco-driving training program,” gives drivers techniques for operating vehicles more efficiently to save on fuel costs and reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions.
Since the program is web-based, users can log in anytime from anywhere to continue their testing, even from home. "[BrightFleet] is great for fleets that have one central hub but have branches and managers all over the nation," said Kathy Kniss of K2 Public Relations Group on behalf of Compendium Software Systems.
— Michael Campos, LCT assistant editor