Mobile Phones / Distractions

According to research, drivers who use mobile phones whilst driving, hands-free or not, are up to four times more likely to be involved in a collision. Some studies have equated using a mobile phone to being twice over the drink drive limit. In many countries, using a mobile phone ‘to your ear’ whilst driving is prohibited by law, but there the Police can prosecute drivers whilst ‘hands-free’, by other road traffic legislation, citing ‘unsafe driving’ as the offence. Whilst truck drivers need to use a range of technology in a modern day truck, they also need to be aware of the risk of distraction. Unnecessary communication via two-way radio, CB, mobile phone etc should be avoided, unless the truck is parked up. GPS devices should be programmed at the start of the journey, and if modifications are needed, the driver should pull over safely to do so.

Negative Positive
 
Drivers are allowed to use phones, radios and other equipment whilst driving without any control or training regarding the dangers of doing so. Policies are in place to reduce the risk of driver distraction when driving.
Companies do not supply hands-free kits in truck cabs. Hands-Free kits are used for all mobile phones.
Companies do not monitor company owned mobile phone records to check on validity and duration of calls. Drivers are instructed and trained to avoid unnecessary use of telematics and communication devices when driving.
  Company monitors the use of in-cab equipment.

  • Train driving and non-driving staff of the dangers of distraction when driving. Office based staff (e.g. dispatchers) are trained to call drivers only when necessary, and to keep calls short and to ensure the driver is talking “hands-free”.
  • Create procedures that require drivers to program telematic devices (such as SatNav, GPS etc) at the start of the journey, or during rest breaks. If these systems need to be modified en route, ensure the drivers pull over when safe to do so, and make the necessary adjustments.
  • Discourage unmerited communication by two-way radio, mobile phone etc. Monitor drivers at scheduled rest breaks, not when driving. Audit phone records periodically at randomly to check if drivers are using phones when driving.