Study shows half of drivers want access to phone while on the road

A recent survey from a global technology research firm has provided findings that may be cause for concern for any fleet manager.

International Data Corporation's (IDC) study, published as part of its "Methods and Practices: Connected Vehicles and Consumer Connectivity Preferences" report, found that 50 per cent of consumers believe it is "vital" to be able to access their phone in their car while driving.

Additionally, around half of the respondents in the baby boomer (between the ages of 45 and 65) cohort felt it was important to access their phone in their car for business purposes, highlighting the fact that mobile phone use within vehicles goes beyond private or personal reasons.

Distracted driving, of which mobile phone use is one of the biggest culprits, is a serious OHS hazard that fleet managers continue to tackle and these findings stress the need for any fleet management program to include proper driver education.

Such is the extent of the issue that the NSW government launched its "Get Your Hand Off It" campaign in June last year, which aims to encourage all drivers to ignore their phones at all times while driving. The campaign proved to be a massive hit, branching out into additional media platforms toward the end of last year.

"We have so much compelling evidence to show that mobile phone use raises the risk of a crash and yet sadly motorists see this behaviour around them every day," Minister for Roads Duncan Gay said in a November 29 statement.

"In the last five years, we can attribute mobile phone usage to directly contributing to at least 216 crashes, 100 of which resulted in someone being killed or injured."

You can do your part in keeping Australian roads safe as well by educating your staff on the risk of using their phones while driving, and putting systems in place to reduce the need to check their phones when on the road.