Steve Chesworth, Managing Director of The Fuel Card Group is keen to bring to the attention of their fleet customers, and the wider business community, the most common distractions for UK motorists that have been highlighted in new research published by the AA.
Mr Chesworth commented, “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.”
According to the AA the main causes for their lack of attention are: 16 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent), being involved in a conversation via a mobile phone (12 per cent), eating at the wheel (nine per cent), drinking (seven per cent), texting (five per cent), emailing (one per cent), checking social media (one per cent) and smoking (one per cent also),” Steve 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 eight per cent of almost 7,000 respondents suffering a near miss and 1.5 per cent 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.”
AA president Edmund King commented: "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."