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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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Photo by melissa mjoen on Unsplash

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

Mobile phone misuse and professional drivers

by Eleonora Malacarne on Feb 5, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Since their introduction, mobile phones (cell phones) have completely revolutionized our life. Mobile phones can be very helpful for people in general and particularly for drivers. If you drive, for whatever reason, a mobile phone enables you to
  • - call for help in the event of a breakdown
  • - inform emergency services of an accident
  • - let someone know you are late due to weather, traffic, or any other reason.
However, the dependency on mobile phones most of us have in our day-to-day lives has unfortunately led to a good deal of mobile phone misuse while driving. Mobile phone misuse while driving makes drivers four times more likely to crash, according to the RSA (Road Safety Authority) of Ireland.
According to the law, you can only use your mobile while driving if you are calling 999 or 112, or in the event of an emergency.
It is a legal offence to hold a mobile phone in your hand, or support it with another part of your body (between your head and shoulder, for example) when you are driving. You can expect to receive a fixed charge notice of €60 if you are spotted by the Gardaí (the Irish police force). If you pay it you will get two penalty points, if you don’t you might end up in court, get four penalty points and a fine of up to €2,000.
Even if hands-free kits are legal, they still are a source of distraction while driving, putting you, other road users and pedestrians at risk. The safe control of your car, van or bus is your responsibility, so the optimum choice would be to avoid the use of any mobile phone device, altogether, while driving.
In some countries it is illegal to text while driving or even use a phone without a hands-free device. But even if it were legal, do you think it would be a good idea for your drivers to use a mobile phone while they drive?
The use of mobile phones are a distraction however way you look at it, and studies demonstrate that even the use of hands-free devices compromise driver safety. And, apart from the obvious safety implications, what if a customer saw one of your drivers using a mobile phone while driving? What kind of impression might this generate for your company?
Accidents and safety are a top priority for fleet managers, so you need to minimise the risks of collisions but at the same time a method of communication with your drivers is necessary: you need to know precisely where they are at any given time. Vehicle tracking offers the solution, as it enables you to keep tabs on your driver’s location and on any eventualities such as traffic jams or breakdowns as well—all this without the need to make calls that might distract drivers and compromise safety.
A second and useful step to increase safety regarding mobile phone misuse would be the setting up of a mobile phone use policy, that can educate drivers on how to use phones in an appropriate way; encouraging them to minimise the use of these devices or using them only when the vehicle is parked and not operating.
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Topics: Fleet Management, Road Safety, accidents, mobile phone misuse, mobile phone use policy, Safety, driving style, driver distraction, mobile phone

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