Van Driver Toolkit – Driver Distraction

Did you know?

  • Mobile devices are a major distraction but they are not the only one.
  • Distractions can include eating, drinking, setting satnav, radios etc – anything that takes your eyes off the road or distracts your concentration on driving.
  • Distraction is a major cause of collisions with drivers 4 times more likely to be in a crash if using a mobile device (even hands free).
40% of drivers name hand-held mobile phone use as one of their top 4 road safety concerns. The Road Traffic Act 1988 states it is illegal for drivers to hold a mobile phone or other hand-held device in their hand while driving. Drivers can received a fixed penalty notice, a £200 fine and 6 penalty points for using a hand-held phone when driving.Many employers will also discipline drivers for doing so and it will increase the cost of vehicle insurance. Just reading a text or email takes a driver’s eyes off the road for at least 5 seconds. Best Practice Tips
  • If using hands-free devices, make sure they are fully set up before starting to drive.
  • Only use hands-free devices when you are happy it is safe to do so.
  • Always ensure a clear view of the windscreen and road ahead.
  • Do not hold or interact with a mobile device while driving.
  • Where possible, switch mobile phones to a form of safe-driving mode e.g. silent mode or switched off.
  • Driving without worrying about answering a mobile phone can be liberating.
The government is considering increasing the penalty of causing death whilst driving when using a hand-held device from 14 years to life imprisonment. Although the law allows drivers to use their phone while driving, if it is properly set up as a hands-free device, your employer’s policy may not allow this. Hands-free devices attached to the windscreen or dashboard should not obscure the driver’s view of the road. Drivers can get 3 penalty points if they do not have a full view of the road and traffic ahead or proper control of the vehicle. The police can stop a driver if they think they are not in control of their vehicle because they are distracted which can lead to prosecution.

Provider: Driving for Better Business, National Highways
Resource Type: Web link

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