Fleet managers: Do you have a distracted driver policy in place?

Fleets Compare are warning fleet operators to ensure they create and implement an effective company policy on distracted driving. Research by road safety charity Brake, 25% of all road incidents are caused by drivers using mobile devices. When coupled with other distractions such as eating and drinking, passengers and applying cosmetics, it comes as no surprise that 72% of drivers in the UK have admitted to multi-tasking at the wheel.

Despite these staggering statistics, the number of fleet companies that actually have and enforce a formal policy on distracted driving is a fraction of what it should be.

If you are a fleet manager, it is your duty of care to do as much as possible to limit the distractions faced by your mobile employees. Simply follow the four steps below and learn how create, implement and promote your own dsitracted driving policy.

Step 1 – Create

There are a number of distracted driving policy templates available on the web to help you get started. This important formal, written document must clearly state your company or organisations position on the use of mobile devices, eating and drinking, and the allowance of passengers in your vehicle whilst driving. It must apply to everyone in your business from delivery and sales vehicles to employees using a vehicle to visit clients and run errands.

Step 2 – Communicate

Once you have written the policy document, take full advantage of the open channels of communication between businesses and their employees. In order to be as effective as possible, they should be communicated as often as possible – at least once per year, and each employee should acknowledge that he or she has received, read and fully understood the premise outlined in the policy.

Other useful methods include workshops, emails, newsletters, training and courses to ensure your message is imparted as frequently and effectively as possible.

Step 3 – Enforcement

Ensuring your employees actually adhere to your new policy can be difficult but there are a number of ways you can ensure it remains enforced.

The first is leading by example, with managers deferring conversations until the employee is safely parked or has reached their destination, and by letting other members of staff know that they are currently driving and cannot take any calls.

Secondly, over the last 5 years, we have seen a huge rise in the number of vehicle CCTV systems on the road. When implemented, these systems can monitor both inside and outside the vehicle, providing valuable insight into driver behaviour. Companies who install these systems have seen a huge decline in the number of claims made against them, as well as massive increases in driver safety and productivity.

Step 4 – Encourage

The final step in this process is allowing fleet managers to actively promote employees who adhere to the policy and create advocates of safer driving.