New AA Research Provides Key Information for Fleet Managers

A new report published by the AA has revealed the top reasons why drivers in the United Kingdom nearly get into accidents, and the results provide important data for fleet managers intent on improving the safety of their drivers. According to the survey, which polled almost 7,000 drivers, nearly 40% of UK motorists admitted to having been distracted while driving over the past year, with many saying that the distraction had nearly resulted in an accident.

Though there were a variety of reasons given for the distractions that led to the near misses, the most frequently-voiced was tuning the radio, a reason that was given by over 16% of respondents. Steve Chesworth, managing director of The Fuel Card Group, said that, “Other major causes of a lack of focus, which must be of concern to fleet managers, are operating a sat-nav device (13%), being involved in a conversation via a mobile phone (12%), eating at the wheel (9%), drinking (7%), texting (5%), emailing (1%), checking social media (1%), and smoking (1%).

The wide variety of reasons make it all the more important for fleet managers to stress the importance of focusing while driving. Chesworth said, “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 3% 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, the company that conducted the survey, also commented on the results. The company’s president, Edmund King, said, “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.”