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Dutch research reveals 1 in 12 drivers plays videogames while driving

by Eleonora Malacarne on Sep 9, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Dutch research reveals 1 in 12 drivers plays videogames while driving

A recent study conducted by the Dutch Institute for Road Safety has shown that a significant and increasing number of drivers plays videogames while behind the wheel: in 2019, 8.2 per cent of the drivers interviewed admitted they had sometimes played games while driving, an increase of the 3 per cent from a 2017 survey. 70 per cent of drivers have admitted to use their mobile phones in some way while driving. Despite the different restrictions in force in the European countries and internationally, distracted driving remains a growing concern.

According to the WHO, drivers using mobile phones are 4 times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers not using a mobile phone, as using a phone while driving slows reaction times (notably braking reaction time, but also reaction to traffic signals) and makes it difficult to keep in the correct lane, and to keep the correct following distances.

According to different sources, with the lockdown distracted and dangerous driving have increased despite the traffic increasing in some countries, adding up to the risk associated with the driving profession and those deriving from the spread of Coronavirus.

The use of mobile phones behind the wheel can lead to different driver distractions:

  • Visual (the eyes are not looking at the road);
  • Cognitive (the mind is off the road);
  • Physical (the hands are on the phone and not on the steering wheel);
  • Auditory (minor, but referring to the ringing of the phone or notifications sounds).

Not having your eyes, mind, hands and ears on the road can have the same impact as being impaired because of drug or drink driving, provoking slower reaction, erratic driving and trouble in maintaining appropriate speed or distance, with a global reaction of driver awareness that can lead to serious consequences. Commercial drivers are especially at risk now because of the repetitiveness and multitasking nature of their job and as their mental health can be more influenced by the extra risks coming into place with COVID-19. Make sure you support your driving team and talk to us if you want to learn more on how to eliminate distracted driving in your fleet.


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Topics: Fleet Management, distracted driving, driver distraction, fleet safety

Driver attitudes and behaviour study: motorists admit drink driving

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 2, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Driver attitudes and behaviour study


According to a recent driver attitudes and behaviour study carried out by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) of Ireland, and published by the Irish Examiner on 10th November, out of the 1,000 motorists interviewed 11% admitted they had driven after drinking alcohol (and more than a third after consuming one or two drinks), and 40% of the people questioned admitted they thought it acceptable to break the 100 km/h speed limit.

Noel Gibbons, a road safety officer quoted by the Examiner, was disappointed with the results: one fifth of drivers could be potentially classed as “high-speeding rule violators” and the number of drink driving motorists is very high. “One drink might not affect you but it might affect somebody else,” Gibbons stated. “It depends on your body as well. If you’re tired, the alcohol will affect you more so, again. Our advice would be not to drink any alcohol when you’re driving.”

Other notable, if somewhat disconcerting, results of the survey are as follows:
• one in three drivers (31%) admitted they had spoken on handheld mobiles while driving;

• about 16% admitted to texting while driving and 7% said they checked apps;

• one in three drivers were also found to be speed-camera “manipulators”, driving more slowly only at speed camera locations;

• men, outnumbered women by more than two to one, and older drivers, particularly those over the age of 65, were the biggest culprits.

With a view to the approaching festive season we would strongly recommend not drinking and driving, but would also like to remind people who have had a drink to be very cautious the following morning as you can still be under the influence. We also urge drivers not to be tempted into breaking speed limits or using devices that might distract you from driving.


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Topics: Road Safety, distracted driving, drink driving

Mobile phone misuse: decrease in drivers'offences

by Eleonora Malacarne on May 12, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Police figures published by Fleet News in mid-April suggest that drivers’ offences caused by mobile phone misuse behind the wheel have decreased.
The number of drivers who have been given penalty points has decreased by 24% in 2014 and by more than 40% from 2010 to 2014. The figures were a result of a free research conducted by the BBC Radio 5 station for a live show—36 out of 43 police forces throughout England and Wales were forthcoming with the relevant data.
The figure seems rather encouraging, but apparently this does not suggest a sea change in drivers’ attitudes toward mobile phone use behind the wheel, but rather that they are just being fined less.
The Department of Transport of the UK had in fact studied the attitude of drivers towards mobile phone misuse and this (earlier) research actually showed that 1.1% of drivers in England and Scotland had been seen holding their phone while driving and a further 0.5% were seen with the phone to their ear.
The research suggests that there is a rather high number of offenders not being caught and not being fined, thus raising doubt as to the reality of any fundamental change in drivers’ attitude.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is of a similar opinion; the fact that fines did not visibly increase merely suggests that motorists are still disregarding the law as most drivers have little fear of being caught. Neil Greig, director of policy and research for IAM, disclosed that around 470,000 motorists are using mobile phones illegally, and in actual fact 72,000 tickets and 99,000 courses undertaken is still a very small number of penalty sanctions for such a dangerous habit.
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Topics: mobile phone misuse, mobile phone use policy, Safety, distracted driving, mobile phone use behind the wheel

Why mobile phones aren't the only distraction for drivers

by Eleonora Malacarne on Apr 30, 2015 10:00:00 AM

No doubt, driving and mobile phone use/misuse have been strongly emphasised over the last few years and, as a consequence, mobile phones have become synonymous with distraction for drivers
If on one hand it is true that mobile phone misuse, behind the wheel, is now viewed by most people as an antisocial behaviour—countries have banned at least its handheld use and there are continuously running public awareness campaigns—on the other hand, despite the drivers having been educated on mobile phone use/misuse, the number of road accidents due to distraction has not decreased.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in America, a news article in the US based newspaper—The Suffolk Sun, back in 1914, reported that the local police department had started using motorcycles not only to catch drivers speeding excessively, but also drivers who were “not looking forward” or who were even “reading mail while driving”. Furthermore, according to the IIHS, after car radios started to appear in the 1930s, local legislators in some states tried to place restrictions on the installation of car radios, but were unsuccessful. In the 1970s, research suggested that 15% of vehicle crashes were caused by driver distraction/inattention.
So, it is safe to say that distracted driving is nothing new, but has probably increased over the years as automobiles and the number of drivers have increased—the modern pace of living pressures us into multitasking as well, and the ability to switch off from daily worries grows more difficult.
Information gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2012, and quoted by the IIHS, stated 3,328 people had died in distraction-related crashes in 2012 and mobile phone misuse contributed to 12% of them. This means a large proportion, 88%, of crashes involved other kinds of driver distraction. We might not contemplate, too often, upon what they are, exactly, but: talking with other passengers, eating or drinking behind the wheel, trying to adjust climate control, turning the radio system on or off, searching for a CD in the car (or trying to open its case) are all common examples of driver distraction.
So, while we have to keep an eye on mobile phone use, minimising it as far as possible, and operating it only during pauses from driving (because hands-free mobile devices are still a source of distraction) we still have to pay maximum attention to the road as there are plenty of other activities that can steal our attention—surely there are a large number of crashes that are distraction-related and, for whatever reasons, the actual source of which, are not well publicised.

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Topics: mobile phone misuse, mobile phone use, Safety, distracted driving, distraction for drivers, distraction behind the wheel

2014: a worrying hike in fleet driver fines

by Eleonora Malacarne on Apr 3, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Despite the stress given to the importance of driving safely and the increased sensitization campaigns about the dangers of speeding and distracted driving, the year 2014 has seen a significantly higher number of fleet driver fines, of drivers committing road traffic offenses.
According to a survey carried out by Lex Autolease, shared by Fleet Point in February, fleet drivers were fined 145,000 times during 2014; company drivers committed 20,525 more driving offences than in the previous year—2013.
The offenses do include parking fines, but there has been a considerable rise in number related to safety, such as speeding, dangerous driving or mobile phone misuse behind the wheel. The latter increased from 34,495 incidents in 2013 to 40,001 in 2014.
The statistics are quite worrying for companies (as well as for road users), because the survey only accounts for the drivers who were actually spotted and fined for flouting the rules, so there is more than likely a sizeable percentage of drivers who aren’t observing basic standards of safe driving and haven’t, as yet, been “caught in the act”.
Speeding, distracted driving, risky manoeuvring and unsafe driving behaviour may not only result in dangerous collisions leading to serious injury, trauma or even death, but, of course, there are also the fines, penalty points, downtime and the consequences of failing to comply with “the duty of care” to consider.
Companies must try to be aware of this unwelcome increase in work-related driving offenses and just how their employees’ style of driving can impact on both their drivers' safety and their company's image and costs.
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Topics: Safe Driving, mobile phone misuse, aggressive driving, sanctions, speeding, offences, Safety, distracted driving, penalty points, parking fines, driving safely, dangerous driving, News, Stats & Facts, safe driving style, fleet driver fines

Mobile phone misuse and distracted driving campaigns in Europe

by Eleonora Malacarne on Mar 10, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Driver distraction, especially through the misuse of mobile phones, is, unfortunately, one of the biggest contributing factor to collisions and accidents that result in fatalities.
Using a mobile phone while driving is beginning to be viewed as an antisocial behaviour, like drink or drug driving. Legislation in Europe and around the world varies from country to country, but a significant number of those countries operating a mobile-phone-use-while-driving ban for hand-held devices still permit the use of hands-free mobiles. Japan bans both uses and in some US states there are similar restrictions according to the age of the driver or other parameters.
Using a hands-free device is still considered a source of distraction, so, ideally, it is better never to use a phone while driving.
Organisations involved with road safety across various countries have promoted campaigns in order to highlight the personal and public risk of mobile phone misuse. Let’s have a look at some of them:
1 – RSA of Ireland – Don’t text and drive campaign
The video shows a guy preoccupied with texting while walking, as a pedestrian or in a club, and conspicuously bumping into other people, but in the end, before starting up his car to drive, he sensibly places his mobile phone out of reach. The punch-line at the end is memorable: “It won’t kill you to put it away”
2 – THINK! Government of Transport of the UK – Don't use mobile phones while driving
This, more shocking, public information advert depicts a lady calling up her partner on the phone while he is driving home—the conversation is brutally interrupted by a crash. This time the punch-line is: “You don't have to be in a car to cause a crash. Think.”
3 – Securité routiere du gouvernement – France – Au volant, quand vous regardez votre smartphone, qui regarde la route ? [When you are behind the wheel looking at your smartphone, who is looking at the road?]
In this case a father, is interacting with his child in the backseat of the car, in France. The child is trying to show his father a drawing but the father is explaining that he needs to concentrate on the road. However, he receives an incoming SMS and is unable to resist a quick look—suddenly they smash into the back of a stationary car.
4 – DGT – Dirección general de tráfico – Spain – Al volante, el 99% de tu atención no es suficiente [Behind the wheel, 99% of your attention is not enough]
This Spanish advert shows people at work, where an element of risk is involved, irresponsibly using their mobile phone—a surgeon during an operation, an airport traffic-controller manually directing aircraft, and a barber shaving a customer. A voiceover tells us: “using equipment that can cause death requires your complete concentration” and we are reminded, at the end, “behind the wheel, 99% of your attention is not enough”.

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Topics: mobile phone misuse, Safety, distracted driving, hands-free device, mobile phone use behind the wheel, distraction behind the wheel

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