The Brake charity’s ‘Driver Distraction’ fleet survey report 2017, sponsored by FORS Affinity Partner, Licence Bureau, suggests that although fleet managers are aware of the risks of distraction, this needs to be better reflected in company policy, as well as through the introduction of best practice initiatives, evidence-based interventions, effective driver education and data monitoring.
It is crucial that fleet managers prioritise the safety of their workforces by taking all necessary steps to prevent driver distraction. Driving requires the full attention of the driver. Hazards can arise at any time, and vehicles can travel a considerable distance in a short amount of time. A moment’s distraction, therefore, can have fatal consequences.
The key finds of the survey were:
- 71% respondents have implemented policies aimed at preventing driver distraction at the wheel
- 91% organisations that have implemented policies for driver distraction have banned the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving, but less than a third have restricted the use of hands-free phones
- 41% respondents said that they supported Brake’s call for the UK government to extend the ban on mobile phone use at the wheel to include hands-free use
The FORS Standard includes a section focusing on the driver, with specific requirements which cover health and safety, in-cab technology, fitness and health, and drivers’ hours – all of which can have an impact on driving standards. Driver requirement D5 ‘In-cab technology’ states that fleet operators ‘shall not cause or permit a driver to use a handheld mobile phone while driving, and where possible they shall restrict the use of any distractive in-cab technology while driving.’ This is to ensure that drivers are not distracted from the safe operation of the vehicle by in-cab technology such as satellite navigation, mobile phones or any other portable or fixed technology. And, in order to ensure the health, safety and welfare of people at work, and to protect others against any health and safety risks, a health and safety policy is mandatory as part of driver requirement D6 ‘Health and safety’.
FORS Professional explores some of the more advanced techniques of concentration, observation and anticipation for drivers of all vehicle types in its Smart Driving safety eLearning module.
You can also make use of the FORS Professional ‘In-vehicle technology’ Toolbox Talk to help you share important messages with your drivers.
To read the full Fleet Survey Driver Distraction report, please click here.