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When I’m talking to fleet operators we frequently talk about the large amount of information given to drivers at their induction. This normally involves the provision of a substantial driver handbook. There will be some important information on driving standards in there, but it’ll be diluted with lots of other employment information.
The danger is that a new employee will be overwhelmed by all this information and won’t take it in or won’t read the documents. So there could be key messages on fleet safety that aren’t getting through at the crucial induction stage.
This is an example of information overload. It’s when our ability to process information has passed its limit. It interferes with our capacity to learn and once our capacity has been reached, the additional information becomes background noise. This isn’t conducive to employees following your policies and procedures. With the increasing use of data from in vehicle technology, this issue is of relevance to managers just as much as drivers.
Information overload is sometimes called Information Fatigue Syndrome. It leads to poor concentration, irritability and stress. Of particular relevance to driving is the symptom of ‘plugged in’ compulsion, this is the need to check email, messages and social media to stay in touch. It can also cause hurry sickness, the feeling of needing to constantly rush to keep up. Neither of these symptoms are going to help prevent vehicle collisions.
So what can be done to tackle information overload? Here are a few ideas:
If you need help developing your policies and procedures for managing your driving at work activity, please get in touch at email@example.com
If you need more help on this subject or any aspect of Fleet Safety call us on 0333 567 2003.