Vehicle safety continues to challenge fleet managers

There are a number of dangers for drivers out on the country's roads, many of which are difficult for fleet managers to keep on top of. While businesses can procure vehicles with high safety ratings to minimise the risks their drivers face, the actions of other road users can provide further challenges. 

The 2015 NSW road toll has already surpassed the 2014 figure.

Many automotive manufacturers are doing their best to offer vehicles that reduce fuel consumption and come packed with safety features, however, it's up to those behind the wheel to ensure their behaviour aligns with safe driving practices. 

According to the NSW government, this year's road toll has already surpassed that of 2014, suggesting that while cars may be safer, the country's drivers are not. What needs to change?

Cell phone use distracts drivers

Drivers who take to the road for business are busy individuals, and are often required to make calls while driving. Although there are a number of safe ways to do this, such as with hands-free kits or over Bluetooth, new research from the University of Pennsylvania suggests that many drivers are ignoring these technologies in favour of dangerous practices. 

The researchers discovered the behaviour is more common among younger drivers, with many of them acknowledging the risks but choosing to ignore them. According to the study, some people have different views about what constitutes texting while driving. 

For example, a selection of the respondents admitted to operating a mobile phone while waiting at red lights. While arguably not as dangerous as using one while moving, it still adds further risk and could result in demands for fleet maintenance

Distracted drivers can cause accidents. Distracted drivers can cause accidents.

NSW reflects on Arrive Alive campaign

The NSW Police is urging drivers to stay safe on the roads, as the busy Christmas period will see traffic increase.  According to Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, weather and fatigue are two dangers likely to impact all motorists during this period. 

"We urge all road users to manage fatigue," he began. "Fatigue in these wet weather conditions presents an extreme risk on the road, as does speeding, drink or drug driving, not wearing a seat belt, or being distracted by a mobile phone."

With the busy holiday period likely to see fleet activity continue to rise, it's important that drivers are prepared to manage these dangers accordingly.