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Driver Distraction - Research-based advice for Employers

8 January 2011

 Vehicles are increasingly becoming “moving offices”, an environment in which employees are likely to receive or make phone calls, check text messages or even check their emails, often without appreciating the enormous road risk that this type of behaviour poses while driving.

Distraction on the roads is a major source of concern. Driver distraction is thought to play a role in 20-30% of all road collisions. There is a long list of distractions that undermine the driver or the rider’s ability to perform the driving task.

This PRAISE report published by ETSC provides employers insight on how to minimise distractions, focusing on in-vehicle distractions associated with the use of electronic devices or so-called “nomadic devices” including mobile phones, smart phones, music players and portable navigation devices (PNDs).

It aims to provide a source of information and recommendations to employers based on a recently completed longer study on the regulatory situation in the European Member States.

The report focuses on the risk associated with the use of electronic “nomadic” devices by drivers. Employers should however identify and manage all distractions linked to driving for work and ensure that drivers reduce risks by, for example: not eating or drinking while driving; presetting music/radio and climate controls; securing any loose objects; pulling over to adjust equipment, check maps or attend to personal grooming; asking passengers to help with tasks (e.g. checking maps), etc.

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