HR News

Duty of care and enabling employees to become safer drivers

Guest Blog by Helen Potter, VP HR, Masternaut (


As members of the HR community, we have an important role to play in making sure that our employees are kept safe from harm. We all have people within our companies that spend many hours on the road for professional reasons. In 2013, more than 3,000 UK drivers were killed or injured in crashes where speed was a significant influence. We cannot ignore the fact that reducing speeding can vastly improve the road safety for our mobile workforces.



Telematics is widely regarded as an effective means to improve driver safety. Unfortunately, the success of telematics has often been affected by its “big brother” image, where managers exert control and check on drivers.


At Masternaut, we believe that telematics is not about monitoring individual drivers, but more about enabling each driver to improve their driving style independently. A recent study shows that our approach has reduced speeding events by 53% on average in over 9,000 light commercial vehicles.


How to change behaviour without exerting control?


The traditional approach has usually been via driver scores, league tables, feedback sessions and targeted training. While those are effective, they take up a lot of managerial time and can create resentment among the workforce.


Masternaut’s in-cab coach technology is a small, dashboard mounted device that is connected to a vehicle’s telematics system and provides drivers with instant feedback when it detects that they are speeding, accelerating, braking harshly, and idling. It will then give visual cues and an audible alarm, depending on the severity of the action, that alerts the driver and prompts them to adjust their driving technique. Giving drivers instant feedback as opposed to managerial control has reduced speeding events by 53% according to a recent study on 9,000 commercial vehicles.


Reducing speeding isn’t the only benefit of the in-cab coach. Harsh driving events are also significantly lowered. On average vehicles without the in-cab coach saw 5.7 harsh driving events per hour, whereas vehicles with it in use, recorded 4.2 events per hour.


By providing your mobile workforce with immediate feedback via in-cab coaching, HR managers can gain an invaluable tool to improving driver safety. Driving can still be hazardous, but by providing in-cab feedback, HR managers can ensure they are meeting their duty of care as an employer, by making sure their staff are equipped with the tools and training to help them become safer, smoother drivers.