Encourage good driver behaviour and smartphone use

Using our smartphones, we are able to field calls, send and receive text/audio/video messages, browse the Internet and use social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and so on. While this makes our lives more efficient and convenient, it also makes our roads more dangerous. Drivers who are distracted by their phones are a dangerous reality. In this blog, we take a look at driver behaviour, the legal repercussions and the dangers for people on the roads.

The dangers of driver distraction due to smartphone use while driving

You may not think that mobile phones can distract drivers. But if you consider that many accidents have been caused by drivers who were changing radio settings, putting on makeup, eating and drinking in the car, or struggling to use GPS, it’s not surprising that a demanding device, such as your smartphone, can become a hazard when a person is driving. Many experts put using a smartphone on par with drinking and driving because of its effect on driver behaviour and the amount of time the driver’s eyes are off the road.  Distracted driving, including using a cellphone, results in thousands of accidents per year that range in severity from minor incidents to total write-offs and fatal injuries.

What are the legal repercussions?

The law concerning using smartphones when driving states that it is illegal to hold a communication device with any part of your body while you are driving. Drivers are also not allowed to use a smartphone at traffic lights, to take pictures, browse the Internet, or use social media while driving. If you are caught using your smartphone while driving, you can be fined. Being involved in an accident because of this kind of driver behaviour would also have repercussions in terms of insurance payouts. Some insurers do not pay out if they can prove that drivers were using their smartphones while driving.

How can fleets discourage this behaviour?

A Network of Employers for Traffic Safety study on this topic showed that companies who had a no-cell-phone policy had lower crash rates than those that didn’t. The research shows that it is worth introducing a ban on smartphones for the sake of improved safety. Fleet Managers can discourage this kind of driving behaviour by asking drivers to undertake not to use their smartphones while driving. This includes fielding calls, browsing the Internet, making use of any of the messenger services or social media platforms.

No one likes to think about being in an accident but being prepared should be the most important item on your checklist. At Avis Fleet, we like to offer our customers peace of mind that, should something go wrong, we’ll be there to assist you in every step of the process. Our comprehensive fleet management solutions take the sting out of dealing with the unforeseen. Have a look at our fleet accident management solution.

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