George Bernard Shaw once said that England and America are two countries separated by a common language. With the recent release of the first annual GreenRoad Worldwide Fleet Driver Performance Benchmark report, we might wonder whether it is more the case of two countries separated by a difference in driving performance?
At least, that is what the initial results would suggest, with drivers in the US having an average safety score of 5 and their UK counterparts having an average score of 8. So what causes the differences? Are UK drivers really worse and what is the data actually telling us?
In reality, the difference in scores has more to do with the difference in fleet types that operate using GreenRoad in each country. In the UK, there are a lot of bus and coach fleets operating in urban environments with a higher exposure to risk as they negotiate their way through city traffic, constantly stopping to pick up and drop off customers. This explains why braking accounts for 43% of all events and why speeding only accounts for 2%. Corner handling also accounts for 39% of all events in the UK which, too, is a result of the urban environments with drivers having to negotiate tight bends, tricky junctions and, of course, roundabouts, which are not very common in the US!
In the United States, fleets tend to cover a number of different industry types, driving in urban, suburban and rural environments, with more opportunity to speed which is why this factor accounts for 40% of all events.
What’s important though is that it doesn’t matter what level drivers start at, it’s the fact that they are continuing to improve the way they drive.