Older Bosses 'Less Likely' To Monitor Driver Behaviour

Research, commissioned by workforce management company BigChange and the road safety charity Brake, has been published to coincide with the launch of Leaders for Life, a new campaign to help business leaders promote safer driving at work.

It shows that older bosses are most guilty of being disinterested in their employees’ driving. More than half of employers (54%) aged over 55 with responsibility for company drivers take no action to monitor or manage their behaviour, despite nine in ten (87%) saying that road safety is an important concern.

By contrast, just 6% of business leaders aged 18 to 34 fail to monitor their drivers. Young bosses employing company drivers are nine times more likely than their older counterparts to take steps such as implementing vehicle tracking, license checks and random drug and alcohol testing.

The survey also revealed that business leaders are more concerned about cyber security than road safety. While 57% of leaders surveyed said that road safety was ‘very important’ to the operation and reputation of their organisations, the figure increased to 63% when asked about cyber security matters.

Source: Fleet News 27 Sept 2018

NETS: Off-The-Job Crashes Are Major Employer Cost

The USA's Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) is an employer-led public/private partnership dedicated to improving the safety and health of employees, their families, and members of the communities in which they live and work by preventing traffic crashes that occur both on- and off-the-job.

NETS has this week released a new Cost of Collisions Calculator, developed by NETS through a cooperative agreement with NHTSA, which can be utilised by employers* to measure their company’s cost of crashes.

Employers pay for injuries that occur both on and off the job. 

In the USA in 2013, motor vehicle crashes killed more than 1,600 people and injured 293,000 while they were working.  More than half of the injuries forced people to miss work. Overall, on-the-job crash injuries (fatal and non-fatal) amounted to about 7.5 percent of all crash injuries.

Motor vehicle crash injuries on and off the job cost employers $47.4 billion in 2013. Almost one half of this cost resulted from off-the-job injuries to workers and their dependents.

Knowing an occupational fleet’s costs enables management to develop a business case that supports an investment in fleet safety. Knowing the on- and off-the-job crash costs for all employees and their dependents provides employers with justification to invest in employee-wide safe driving programs.

Protecting employees from motor vehicle crash injury can be a profitable investment of
time and resources. Traffic safety programmes are an alternative to reduce health care
expenses to employers without reducing the benefits offered to employees. 

* Note: Aside from the Disclaimer on the NETS website, the Cost of crashes calculator and related report are clearly based on factors specific to the driving for work environment in the USA which may or may not apply in Ireland/UK.  It is advised that estimates provided by both the calculator and report are indicative, vary widely even by state and should be treated with a degree of caution

Source: NETS Cost of Motor Vehicle Crashes To Employers
Cost of crashes calculator: (note: site is not secured by SSL)
NETS Membership information

Businesses Fear Staff Using Phones While Driving

More than two-thirds (68%) of UK businesses are concerned their employees are using smart phones access the internet or text while driving for work.

The study by TomTom Telematics also found that 33% of organisations still have not taken steps to prevent employees from using mobile phones while driving, whether through specific policies, training or education.

Beverley Wise, director UK and Ireland at TomTom Telematics, said: "The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called mobile phone use a ‘serious and growing threat to road safety’ and these results further highlight the extent of the problem faced by businesses.

“It’s a problem employers’ must tackle, however, if they are to demonstrate a genuine commitment to the wellbeing of their staff.

“A clear policy on the use of mobile phones should form part of a best practice approach to road safety, but cultural change is also vital.

"Ingrained habits are hard to break but continuous training, education and communication can help to change employees’ mindsets and encourage a greater focus on safe driving.”

The research also revealed that 68% of organisations still allow hands-free use of mobile phones by employees driving for business purposes.

However, studies have shown that talking on a hands-free phone can be as distracting as talking on a hand-held mobile.

Wise added: "Technology such as telematics can also play an important role in helping to identify when employees are driving distracted by continuously monitoring performance. Incidences of harsh steering or braking, for example, might be indicative of greater problems that require attention.”

Source: Fleet News

Lack Of Road Safety Policy Exposes UK Businesses

The study by TomTom Telematics of UK companies whose employees drive for work purposes found more than a fifth (21%) have no road safety policy in place while a further 4% did not actually know whether their organisation had a defined policy.

Yet 60% said staff members had been involved in road traffic collisions while on business duty, with 78% claiming this resulted in lost productivity due to injury or time off work.

The analysis of senior managers at 400 UK businesses also found just 64% have processes in place to profile the risk posed by individual drivers, based on factors such as driving behaviour or previous convictions.

Beverley Wise, director UK & Ireland at TomTom Telematics, said: “Businesses should also be aware that a proactive approach to road safety can deliver further business benefits. By employing technology to monitor driver behaviour and providing drivers with live feedback, supported by targeted coaching and training, it is possible to reduce fuel spend, cut insurance premiums and boost productivity.”

Source: Fleet World

84% of Drivers Admit Using Devices While Driving

The research, which was carried out by IPSOS Mori on behalf of Aviva, found that drivers in Ireland compare badly with our neighbours in the UK with almost half (45%) of Irish drivers admitting to making  phone calls  behind the wheel without a hands-free kit, while in the UK, the equivalent number was 20%. The numbers who report checking their social media while driving in Ireland is also more than double that of the UK (15% v 7%). In this respect, only Italian drivers are worse than Irish drivers among our European counterparts at 17%.

Key findings on driver habits and technology usage:
·         45% of Irish drivers admit making a phone call while driving compared to just 20% in the UK. That figure rises to 63% in the USA and as high as 76% in China.
·         26% of Irish drivers admit sending text messages while driving, compared to 13% in the UK, while Indonesian drivers are the most likely to send a text while driving at 53%.
·         15% of Irish drivers admit checking / posting to social media while driving. The UK had the lowest rate with 7% admitting to this practice, while Indian drivers fared the worst at 41%
·         11% of Irish drivers admit viewing or uploading images to social media while driving. This figure is as low as 4% in the UK and as high as 37% in India.
·         66% of Irish drivers admit choosing music while at the wheel. This figure falls to 45% in Spain while the country with the highest rate for this practice is China at 74%
·         35% of Irish drivers admit entering information into a satnav system while driving. This figure drops to 26% in India and goes up to 52% in Turkey.

Speaking about the findings, Michael Bannon, Underwriting Manager with Aviva Motor Insurance, said: “It is shocking to find that so many drivers are taking such risks, given all that we know about road safety. Just a split second of distraction or lapse in concentration can result in death on the road”.

When it comes to distractions on the road, technology was not the only contributing factor. The research also found that 40% of Irish drivers admit driving while excessively tired compared to 31% in the UK, while 60% of Irish drivers admit to eating or drinking while driving, the highest proportion in Europe. Meanwhile being distracted by passengers, for example, children in the back of the car is a common experience among Irish drivers with 43% reporting it as a difficulty, the highest proportion of any European country in the survey. While the numbers admitting to putting on make-up while driving are small across all countries included in the survey, Ireland emerges as the highest in Europe with 7% confessing to doing their make up behind the wheel. 
 
“When you get behind the wheel you are responsible not only for your own life but for everyone else you encounter on the road.  With holiday season now well-underway, when families will take to the road for longer journeys than usual, this research should serve as a wake-up call. Put the mobile phones out of reach, set-up your satnav before beginning your journey, stop for a coffee if tiredness is getting the better of you and concentrate on the road.  Driving is among the most hazardous activities we undertake in our lives.  For all our sakes, we need to remember that stark reality at the start of every journey,” advises Michael Bannon.

DriverFocus also supports the HSA's response to the findings from this survey, as employers need to consider how they can help staff Driving for Work and avoid making matters worse.

HSA suggested questions include:
1.   How are you managing the risk of distracted driving for those who drive for work?
2.   Have you covered distraction as a key risk in your driving for work risk assessement?
3.   What does your safety management system say about how to prevent distracted driving?
4.   What more can you do to prevent your employees driving distracted?

Source: Aviva Ireland and DrivingForWork.ie