Road safety

Our staff and contractors drive around 1.1 billion km each year, or around 75 times around the world every day, to deliver products to our customers and to keep our operations running. We improve the safety of our drivers by enforcing our global road safety standards, minimising journeys and through training. In 2011, we continued to improve in road safety, recording a 41% reduction in incidents from 2010.

Human factors are a main cause of road accidents. We train our drivers to improve their skills, but also to help them manage other factors that may affect their driving. In India in 2011, for example, our distribution business launched a training programme that showed drivers how to deal with stress or other distractions that could affect their driving performance.

Our global training includes defensive driving, coping with fatigue, better management of journeys and how to prevent a truck from rolling over. In-vehicle monitoring systems help us to improve driving behaviour by providing details of a driver’s performance. As a result we can recognise and encourage good driving, and improve fuel economy. Since 2005, we have installed more than 31,000 of these devices.

Our mandatory 12 Life-Saving Rules include requirements to wear seat belts, plan journeys, not speed and not use mobile phones while driving. In 2011, we saw a 17% fall from the previous year in the number of violations of these road-safety rules.

We share our road safety experience with others to help reduce the number of road traffic incidents globally. We are a sponsor of the UN’s Decade of Action for Road Safety. We also partner with local organisations to host awareness programmes in many countries (see opinion, below), especially those where the risk is high, such as Malaysia. We work with governments, communities, partnerships and other companies to help set industry standards, improve road infrastructure and influence governments on road safety policies.

Ir. Linda S. van der Eijck, Director, Veilig Verkeer Nederland, Amersfoort, the Netherlands (photo)


“Traffic safety education is about learning by doing. The Dutch Traffic Safety Association helps children from the ages of six to nine learn the rules of the road and how to cope with traffic situations. Our programme has been developed over many years and is already used in many elementary schools in the Netherlands. Educating children in road safety has to be practical. It’s most effective when the children practise in safe surroundings. In 2011, we developed with our partner, Shell, the Mobile Safety Track. We based the track on our existing safety education programme. The track allows children to drive go-karts along a specially designed route and practise how to manage road hazards in an interactive and fun way. Since its launch, 10,000 children have had the chance to learn from this experience and increase their awareness of road safety basics.”

Ir. Linda S. van der Eijck
Director of Veilig Verkeer Nederland, Amersfoort, the Netherlands