Driving while distracted, whether by mobile phones, sat-nav systems, radios, children, smoking, eating or perhaps just daydreaming, is ubiquitous. The evidence is there each time we take to the roads, involving private, business and even ‘professional’ drivers.
Anecdotally, it’s on the increase – with fleets, in particular, facing higher costs for damage, fines and charges – despite legislative moves to clamp down on mobile phone mis-use while driving. With the steady rise of new, potentially-distracting in-car technology being added to vehicles on an almost daily basis by manufacturers – and with fleets leading on this front – it seems intuitive that the situation is indeed worsening.
In fact, examination of the evidence shows that the total number of reported driving collisions caused by distraction in 2017, has barely changed since 2007. Cars are becoming ever safer, especially with the march of sophisticated Advanced Driver Assistance (ADAS) technology. Surely, therefore, collisions caused by distractions should have seen a significant decrease in numbers?
Government figures show that an estimated one-third of road deaths in Britain involve someone on a journey for work purposes. Each day, more than 150 vehicles driven on business are involved in a collision resulting in injury. Are at-work drivers at particular risk from distractions? What do the experts, including those in the fleet sector, believe can be done about it? And what can vehicle manufacturers, employers, fleet managers and the latest technology do to help solve the problem?