Fleeting thought: Informing employees about road safety

Fleeting thought: Informing employees about road safety

We live in a generation where we can access information and communicate with others with the click of a button.

Sometimes, we look at our phones far too much to notice the wonderful things off screen; the smile of a stranger, the blooming of a flower or the skip of a bird.

Although we’re used to being connected 24/7, there is a time and place where we should switch off, and take awareness of things we often forget to even recognise such as our surroundings - especially when driving.

Failing to disconnect can have devastating effects. Motorists who text, call or use their mobile phone are four times more likely to crash, according to road safety experts.

Figures from the DVLA show that although 238,694 people were caught driving while distracted at least once between 2012 to 2015, yet just 284 received a ban as a result.

A Freedom of Information request to the DVLA from the RAC found that more than 600 people were caught using their mobile phones three times and one driver five times.

These figures were reported by the BBC days after shocking news that a lorry driver crashed, killing a mum and three children for taking his eyes off the road for 45 seconds to look at his mobile.

The driver was jailed for ten years.

Is this enough to stop people from quickly checking that text?

A total of 42,950 motorists were caught by police last year, down 37%, for not being in control of a vehicle – including mobile phone offences. Many caught by police, volunteer to attend a course run by the TTC Group.

The group educates 330,000 road users each year to reduce casualties. Their Group Director, Alan Prosser, explains:  "Drivers who use a mobile phone are four times more likely to crash, injure or kill themselves and other people.

“They are much less aware of what's happening on the road around them, reactions become slower and they take longer to brake and stop. People don't see road signs, they tailgate the car in front, their lane position is out and they don't keep to a steady speed. They must realise the dangers and put their mobiles out of reach while driving."

Employers have a responsibility for the health and safety of their staff carrying out work activities, including any driving done for work purposes.

Read more on how employers can help to educate drivers on their safety in last week’s Dr Employer.

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