Cranfield University Launches First Psychometric Driver Risk Assessment

Cranfield University and driver training specialists, Peak Performance, have combined to launch an online driver risk assessment developed specifically for company car and emergency services drivers based on psychometric principles.

Called the Driver Risk Index™ (DRI), the ground-breaking new product is based on 20 years of academic research into the psychology of driver behaviour and uses psychometric principles for the first time to predict how company car and other drivers are likely to behave behind the wheel of a car.

Human factors contribute to around 95% of road traffic accidents and this new approach allows fleet and safety managers to more accurately identify high risk driver behaviour and implement the specific training needs to tackle it, thereby reducing the potential for road traffic accidents.

The new DRI has been developed by driver behaviour expert, Dr Lisa Dorn, presenter of BBC One’s “Road Rage” series, and director of the Driving Research Group at Cranfield University. Dr Dorn is also research director of DriverMetrics, a new company set up by Cranfield to handle its launch and implementation.

“In addition to identifying those drivers at high risk of accidents, the Driver Risk Index also shows some of the reasons why people are at high risk. By identifying the specific behaviours that contribute to a driver’s risk of accident, we are able to specify more targeted training interventions aimed at reducing the risk. Understanding what is causing increased risks for individual drivers enables fleet managers to manage and reduce the risk through more targeted training,” said Dr Dorn.

The DRI has applications for corporate, public sector and emergency services fleets as well as a version for consumers to purchase online. It helps companies meet their health and safety duty of care to employees for drive for work and reduce the significant legal, financial and human costs associated with road traffic accidents.

A series of training courses have been developed by Cranfield and are delivered by leading driver training company Peak Performance specifically to address the behavioural issues identified by DriverMetrics.

Organisations that have already signed up to take the FDRI include Royal and Sun Alliance, Thames Valley Police, JCB Finance and ALD Automotive.

2 December 2005 Staff

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