Don't mix driving and mobile phones

Every good fleet manager knows that cell phones and driving should not mix.

Mobile phones can cause all manner of distractions. Simply removing one hand from your steering wheel to dial a number or send a text message could prevent you from being able to take immediate evasive action should an obstacle appear in your path.

And if you're looking at your phone, that also means your eyes aren't on the road. According to the NRMA, drivers who send text messages can spend up to 400 per cent more time with their eyes off the road.

Because of this, you might not see a car pull out or a pedestrian run in front of your vehicle in time to stop safely.

Distracted drivers tend to make riskier decisions, react and brake more slowly, veer out of their designated lanes and are generally less aware of their surroundings.

This all adds up to an increased potential for accidents, which in turn means your company could incur higher fleet maintenance costs.

It is illegal in all Australian states to use a hand-held mobile phone while operating a car. You are not allowed to text, answer calls, play games, take photos or use any of the other functions on your phone if you are behind the wheel.

In addition to this, using a mobile phone when your car is stationary but not parked (e.g. when you are stuck in traffic or stopped at a red light) is illegal.

If you are caught breaking any of these rules in Victoria, you will be given a fine on the spot and also receive three demerit points.

Make or receive calls using "a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle" instead, or simply pull over (if it is safe to do so) in the event that you need to answer your phone.



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