According to the Department of Transport, in 2017 there were 4,639 casualties caused by in-vehicle distractions. The road safety charity recently published research called Driving While Distracted: Challenges and Solutions, which analyses reasons behind why so many motorists’ are distracted on our roads and how businesses can manage this (NRSPP). These distractions include mental distractions, visual, manual and sound based distractions. With an increase in distraction based accidents occurring on Australian roads, businesses need to be proactive in tackling the issue of distracted drivers through their work policies and safety measures.
One reason for the distraction of drivers is the increased reliance on mobile phone technology. Fleet News describes how nomophobia (the fear of being without a mobile phone), contributes to distraction based accidents. Whether it is the sound of a text message coming through, the screen lighting up or simply the thought of not being able to check notifications, there’s no doubt mobile technology is impacting driver distractions. Businesses need to be implementing the consistent application of mobile phone policies and ensuring their drivers are implementing low-risk techniques to avoid potential distraction based incidents.
With an increase in Driver Assisted Systems and automated controls within newer car models, various features now allow drivers to relax and let the car take control. With less reliance on full concentration, drivers are often inclined to focus their attention elsewhere. This is where distractions are causing significant issues on our roads. Whether it’s a mobile phone, distractions from other passengers or simply shifting attention away from driving, even the smallest distraction can have catastrophic consequences for road safety.
We encourage businesses to ensure their drivers are fully equipped with low-risk driver training and support required to avoid distraction based road accidents. As well as sufficient training, it is also worth reviewing safety at work policies as a way of minimising any potential risks on the road. Learn more about our low risk driving courses here.