Top reasons for fleet drivers to have a “near miss” revealed
‘The AA’s findings suggest that almost two-fifths of UK vehicle owners admitted to having been distracted at the wheel during the last 12 months,’ explained Steve Chesworth, managing director of The Fuel Card Group.
16% of respondents stated they had a near miss or crash as a result of fiddling with the radio when their attention should have been focused on the road ahead of them, while 14% of drivers stated they had the same result due to being distracted by children in the car.
‘Other major causes of a lack of focus, which must be of concern to fleet managers, are operating a sat-nav device (13%), being involved in a conversation via a mobile phone (12%), eating at the wheel (9%), drinking (7%), texting (5%), emailing (1%), checking social media (1%) and smoking (1%),’ Chesworth added.
The results go to show that it is a wide array of reasons given by people who claim distraction caused them to either be involved in or nearly have an accident on the UK's roads last year, with 8% of almost 7,000 respondents suffering a near miss and 1.5% an accident.
It is for this reason that Chesworth pointed out: ‘Businesses are responsible for ensuring that their drivers are given guidelines and training so that they can avoid these kind of dangerous distractions, especially the use of mobile phones, as the AA have shown that their use is one of the most likely distractions to kill.
‘The survey shows that three per cent of all accidents attributed to mobiles resulted in a fatality – compared to 1.4 per cent for other distractions. Therefore it is clear that businesses must have clear policies on the use of mobile phones whilst driving, and ensure that these policies are enforced.’
Commenting on the findings, AA president Edmund King, added: ‘Although human distractions remain the biggest in-car threat, the figures for sat-navs and mobile phones give a warning for what might happen in the future as "infotainment" and other technology become more commonplace.
‘The higher kill rate for mobile phone-related reported accidents provides a strong wake-up call.’