DISTRACTED: Brake produce free guidance
Road safety charity Brake are offering a free guidance pack for fleets on tackling driver distraction.
Produced by Brake’s Fleet Safety Forum, the pack includes a survey report, best practice guidance for managers and an advice sheet for drivers.
It is available for free to organisations that register for Road Safety Week.
Roz Cumming, Professional Engagement Manager at Brake, said: “Distraction at the wheel can have devastating consequences.
“These resources highlight the danger distracted drivers pose to themselves and other road users, and give clear guidance on the steps fleet managers can take against this risk.
“I urge all companies who employ people who drive for work to demonstrate their commitment to fleet safety by taking part in Road Safety Week, and by signing up to the Fleet Safety Forum to gain access to more resources like these.”
The guidance includes expert advice delivered at a recent Brake webinar on tackling driver distraction, while the advice sheet provides practical tips for drivers on how to avoid distraction.
They are published alongside the results of a recent Brake survey of fleet managers, sponsored by Licence Bureau, focusing on how fleets are tackling this risk.
Driving distractions such as mobile phones are proven to severely impair driving ability, while in-vehicle technology such as sat navs can also cause fatal distractions.
Indeed, there have been cases of cyclists and pedestrians being hit by drivers who were fiddling with their sat navs instead of watching the road.
Encouragingly, 98% of fleets surveyed take some form of action on mobile phone risk, including educating drivers on the risks (58%) and banning all hand-held or hands-free mobile phone use at the wheel (28%).
However, of fleets with sat navs installed, less than half (48%) require drivers not to adjust these while driving.
Les Owen, of Licence Bureau, added: “Having witnessed three fatal crashes and attended many more, in which it is believed at least one of the drivers was distracted, I do not want anyone to suffer the devastating effects these crashes cause.
“Those responsible for drivers at work know of the risks of distraction, yet so many are not doing simple things that can prevent collisions.
“We recommend introducing checks on what drivers are doing while driving, followed up by management action and communication to staff.
“This will help ensure all drivers in the company are aware of what can happen if they are distracted at the wheel.
“The advice in Brake’s Road Safety Week pack could help save lives – of drivers in your company as well as other road users.
“There is no excuse for managers not taking positive action: I know what a difference it makes.”