The firms chosen to answer question were highly varied in fleet size and sector in order to give a representative idea of attitudes and experiences across the UK. Broken down, it shows that 15% of businesses believe their drivers are ‘often involved’ in accidents while on their phone, and a further 5% even believe it happens on a ‘regular basis’.
These figures make shocking reading, not least because these firms are partly culpable. Nearly 40% of firms said they expected commercial drivers to answer calls while on the road. Among larger businesses, that figure is closer to half.
Meanwhile, 30% of the businesses surveyed don’t provide hands-free kits to enable their drivers to answer the phone safely and a 20% have no policy in place to try to discourage dangerous use of a mobile phone.
Firms need to be more aware that they have a responsibility to do something about this – a subject we have written about before. The law is very clear about it.
For many businesses, it is critical that they keep in contact with drivers while they’re on the road and often drivers need to stay in contact with customers. Technology can help – with modern hands-free kits and driver terminals providing a safe, legal way for a driver to stay connected to their employer and customers. Businesses that expect this of their drivers should provide such kits
Hands-free kits are not necessarily the answer though – they are legal, but they aren’t entirely safe, especially for longer calls. Drivers can still be distracted using them.
It’s therefore vital for businesses to have in place a clear mobile policy that sets out expectations, responsibilities and consequences for beaching it.
If you’d like to know about how technology can help you manage the challenges facing you today, get in touch to find out about our range of state-of-the-art telematics products.