The Anonymous Widower

Hiring More Female Lorry Drivers Would Cut Accidents

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in The Times.

A study by the University of Westminster has shown that women drivers have less accidents.

This is a paragraph from the article.

Academics called for more women to be recruited to driving jobs in light of their better road safety record. They said that greater gender equality in positions that rely on motoring skills such as driving taxis, HGVs and delivery vans was needed to help cut deaths.

The article didn’t give any prediction about what will happen in the future.

So here goes!

We are already seeing taxis and delivery vans going zero carbon and I think within twenty years or even less, a large proportion of taxis, HGVs and delivery vans will be either battery-powered, or more likely, in my view, hydrogen-powered.

Look at the LEVC black taxi and compare it to its diesel forerunner.

  • It is more environmentally-friendly.
  • It has a lot of driver and passenger-friendly features.

But it is more expensive.

I suspect that the capital cost of a zero-carbon HGV bus or delivery van, will also be more expensive, than the current diesels.

  • As to the fuel costs between diesel, battery and hydrogen, this would depend on the application, but fuel costs tend to even themselves out.
  • There could be a saving with battery- and hydrogen-powered vehicles in terms of maintenance, just because they are less complicated.

Summing up I could say the following.

  • I am fairly sure, that a zero-carbon taxi, HGV bus or delivery van will have an acquisition cost, that is higher than a diesel version.
  • I also think that if the vehicle was run on a twenty-four hour basis, that the fuel costs would be comparable per mile, but maintenance costs would be less.
  • So I think it likely, that vehicle owners would be more likely to want to run vehicles on a twenty-four hour basis, to get a better return on their capital.

Surely, this would require more drivers.

Consider.

  • A lot of black taxis in London are shared between two drivers.
  • There have been several instances, where I have read that a couple have both been London Underground drivers, as they can arrange shifts to fit in with child care and domestic duties.
  • The partner of a driver, will surely know what the job entails.
  • Driving a modern HGV or bus, is a lot less gruelling than it used to be.

Will more family-friendly methods of working emerge, that allows partners of existing drivers to join the profession?

London Underground certainly changed working conditions to get enough driver for the Night Tube.

Conclusion

Would employing more female drivers cut accidents?

It all depends on the quality of the drivers; both male and female.

But, I suspect that improvements in all vehicles in the future, will cut accidents anyway!

 

April 7, 2020 - Posted by | Transport | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Ah the third category – statistics.

    Many years ago the Sunday Times ran an article that showed that women drivers have less accidents than men. This is especially true for young drivers.

    Alas the article gave the underlying figures which showed that whilst this was also true for the main 30-45 age group, women drove far less distance and using the usual measure of accidents per 100k miles (i.e. per mile driven) and so were actually more than twice as likely to have accidents. OTOH women tended to have parking knocks and men high speed crashes, so insurance premiums for women are usually less than for men the same age.

    Comment by R. Mark Clayton | April 7, 2020 | Reply


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