The Keys to Collision Avoidance
At some stage on the road you are going to have to react to either an obstacle or situation. This could be in the form of a vehicle, animal or even changing grip levels. With the wide use of high centre of gravity vehicles in the mining industry and the wide variety of terrain encountered throughout Australia, it is important that drivers are aware of the risks and have training to cope with these and help avoid collisions. It is not necessarily quick reactions that will save you, but also good decision making skills that effect a situation.
Unfortunately there is also an inherent risk associated with the operation of high centre of gravity vehicles. That risk is the added chance of a roll over, which can be purely accidental or caused by incorrect understanding of the limitations of the vehicle.
The mobilisation of people throughout the mining industry has lead to a need for Nationally Accredited Industry Driver Training to become a core component of safety training for the workforce. Education of the risks involved in operating and maintaining a light vehicle, as well as assessing the competency of the potential operators is critical for reducing, and hopefully eliminating, incidents throughout the industry in 4WD vehicles.
The risk is magnified in the industry for a number a reasons:
- » Varied driver ability
- » International drivers
- » Number of vehicles
- » Number of kilometres driven
- » Terrain and road conditions
- » Weather
- » Fatigue
- » Over confidence
- » Under confidenceThat’s just to name a few!
We spoke to Hyundai World Rally Team Driver and Driven Training Ambassador, Chris Atkinson on his point of view on such issues. Having contested five seasons of the FIA World Rally Championship, Atkinson
has experienced the highs and lows of motorsport at its most elite level. Whilst he has achieved podium finishes on some of the world’s most famous rallies, Chris has to often react to and anticipate situations or obstacles to avoid collisions.
“The importance of specific training in high centre of gravity vehicles is critical for safety throughout all type’s of industry” said Atkinson. “I have avoided many accidents by remaining calm and often not over reacting. Even in low centre of gravity rally cars it is possible to roll over or have
a collision with tree at low speed and this risk is magnified in a high center of gravity vehicle like a 4WD. I can understand how easily people underestimate the risk they are putting themselves and others at whilst driving 4WD’s.” Atkinson explained.
“The keys for me in dealing with a possible collision are focused around anticipation and observation. You have to be alert to all risks while in control of a vehicle. This will lower the time it takes you to react, and also give you more time to make the best decision possible! ” Atkinson said.
“If the need does arise to react, then quiet often people loose control of the vehicle and create a bigger accident by over reacting. Driving at a speed to suit the conditions and the vehicle is critical, and will reduce stopping distances dramatically, which in turn either eliminate the accident or reduce impact speed.” Explained Atkinson
Driven’s training programs can be delivered either in-house from our facilities, or on client sites. Each program is designed with the chain of responsibility in mind which means each successful participant, regardless of training program, will not only receive training and assessment applicable to their own role, but will also gain valuable knowledge on the roles of other stakeholders involved directly and indirectly in the work being undertaken. This knowledge means participants gain a more comprehensive understanding of the role they play in the end product. For this reason most of those who do complete our programs receive multiple nationally recognised units of competency.
Driven has the unique ability to provide a range of industry driver and safety training that has been developed organically based on client’s demand. Driven’s management and staff have years of practical experience in management, health & safety, training and operational roles in the resource, infrastructure, transport and logistics sectors. This foundation of knowledge enables Driven Training to develop training that is sure to add value to any organisation.
Driven Training believes that to truly service its clients, it must apply the same systematic approach to all aspects of its own operations. We know our clients have strict requirements for Quality, Health, Safety and the Environmental management. Our Business Management System has been purposely built to meet the same requirements as any company operating in the sectors we service.
The result is Driven’s clients now enjoy:
» Real client involvement in course development.
» A course structure that is more efficient and easier to understand.
» Courses that truly prepare participants to work onsite.
» Minimised unnecessary repeat training for personnel working on multiple sites.
» Training that is aligned to current units of competency and the correct Industry Training Package
» A fleet of light vehicles to 5 – Star ANCAP rated four-wheel drives.
Demand for this industry leading nationally recognised course has seen the Driven Trainings NADT network expand into Queensland’s LNG Industry, with bases in Brisbane and Chinchilla.