Risk management

Service Company Explores Pathways To Make Driving Inherently Safer

This paper explores whether factors other than the driver can be influenced to increase overall driving safety. This is an application of the risk management approach of using fundamental design and layout to reducing the likelihood and severity of incidents.

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In risk management, an inherently safer approach implies an attempt to eliminate, or at least reduce the severity and likelihood of, incident occurrence through careful attention to fundamental design and layout. This paper examines whether this approach can be applied and be effective in managing transportation safety concerning which, historically, most of the responsibility for safe driving has been placed on the individual driver and less on the design of the transportation system and features of the equipment.


As is often the case for change management, this undertaking was motivated by a tragic motor-vehicle accident in Saudi Arabia, which resulted in three fatalities, two employees and a third-party driver. Transportation-management systems were implemented and in place, including a contractor-selection process, journey-management program, defensive-driving training, and in-vehicle monitoring systems, but, as sometimes happens, compliance with planning and executional requirements was inadequate. The accident-investigation findings uncovered a number of gaps that existed in the transportation-management system and that eventually led to the catastrophic event.

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