How can you determine quality in…driving?

Understanding ‘quality’ is as much to do with information provided, as it is a sensory issue, and journalist, Iain Robertson, looks at several aspects of the attribute.

A fascinating little constant held sway for many years in the UK. Around 1m people would attempt to sit and pass their Driving Tests every year, of which around half a million would fail. While the numbers have dropped by around 5% since the economic ‘crash’ of 2007/8, the largest decrease has been within the 17-25 years bracket (over 15%), a factor that can be explained by a combination of upwards spiralling costs of motoring, the end of the post-WW2 baby boom and tougher qualifications.

girl_-keys_imageYet, it is a fact that we now have more vehicles on our overcrowded roads than ever and complaints about diminishing driving standards have increased disproportionately. Government statistics seem to highlight that, while road traffic incident deaths have decreased significantly (with a reported £1.6m being regarded as the financial cost of each one), the number of injuries has escalated. The general consensus appears to be that insufficient care is being taken by qualified drivers.

Naturally, as more than 80% of the vehicles on our roads, in the course of the average Monday to Friday week, are business operated, there are legal aspects, such as Corporate Manslaughter and Duty of Care to be attended to. Companies are expected to train and educate their staff, to avoid the ramifications of further action being taken, should something go awry. While it is almost a truism that accidents ‘happen’, were the skills of observation, anticipation and due caution exercised more positively, incidents would be avoided.

While controlling the driving standards displayed by the private motorist is significantly more involved, perhaps the only means to improvement is to address the fact that driving is a life skill and that a Driver’s Licence is not and should never be regarded as an expectation. Airline pilots, bus drivers, Hackney Cab drivers and commercial ship captains undertake on-going training in their responsible roles but even the private motorist ought to contemplate his, or her, effects on other road users, in the process improving the quality of their driving.

Naturally, many parallels can be drawn between Quality Assurance in a production-line facility and quality driving on the public highway. The engaged, aware and active motorist will pursue a plan, sometimes in minute detail, associated with making any journey in a vehicle. As with any plan, flexibility is key and the ability to deviate can be crucial, as long as the plan allows it.

However, as ISQA knows from its extensive hands-on experience, getting it right first time and maintaining consistency can be fraught with problems, which is central to its engagement with its clients. ISQA provides the observational, tactile and physical adherence to plans that ensure that the end product is perfect every time.

Recognition of a quality standard in driving skills is available, through a host of service providers that are not dissimilar to ISQA in the manufacturing sector. However, for driving standards to improve, recognition of human frailty is the ideal starting block.

‘Make Quality Count!’

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