When will businesses take the lead by banning mobile phone use whilst driving?
We spend time thoroughly researching our market place as in any technology business things are constantly changing, being updated and upgraded as the industry develops. Throughout this process we analyse the facts and figures provided by various national bodies that monitor how we drive on the roads and in particular driver distraction.
To be honest the statistics are not good, and when driver distraction is analysed next to other causes of accidents for example drink driving and speeding, driver distraction is now right up there as a major cause of road fatalities a mere 4% behind speeding. We have looked at the causes – 1 in 4 accidents are caused by mobile phone use whilst driving – both men and women are as bad as each other. Did you know that 10% of drivers are talking on a mobile phone at any one time.
Who thinks they can multi-task? We know that women say they can, however in reality the brain cannot actually do two things at the same time – the activity in the area of the brain that processes moving objects decreases by up to one third when listening to someone talking on the phone.
Please don’t get us started on texting whilst driving – this is now proven to be three times more dangerous than drink driving.
What scares us the most is that whilst most companies ban hand held use of the phone they do allow hands free – this has been proven to be equally dangerous – a driver is four times more likely to crash if they are talking on the phone whether it is hands held or hands free. Being hands free DOES NOT increase attentiveness.
Drivers talking on mobile phones can miss seeing up to 50% of their driving environment – this includes pedestrians and red lights. Think about driving through an urban area, outside a school, past a park, in a high street – with a distracted driver a vehicle can become a dangerous liability.
So how does UK law stand up for the pedestrian and others on the road. Unfortunately it doesn’t – UK laws currently fall short of best practice safety standards and it is left up to employers to implementing and monitoring employee compliance policies for use of mobile phone while driving.
Please do not add to the statistics provided by NSC Injury Facts, The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) and The National Safety Council. Take a look at your own policy, examine the facts and ensure that your employees are safe on the roads and let’s work to reduce those statistics.