Pressure on Drivers is a Concern for Fleet Directors
The results of a recent survey conducted by AA/Populus’ Motoring Panel is a strong indication that company management personnel are ignoring safety concerns regarding the use of mobile phones and are exerting pressure on fleet drivers to respond to calls, texts or emails while driving. Fleet directors viewing the results of the poll have expressed concern about the stress that management or colleagues may be putting on drivers of commercial vehicles and the potential risk to their safety and the safety of those with whom they share the road.
The statistics are alarming: one in every twenty employees indicated that they feel they are expected to respond to messages and calls on company time, even if they are driving and conditions are dangerous. Many said that they have been directly and clearly instructed to answer the phone or a message despite the fact that they are driving, and feel that their jobs are at risk if they don’t adhere to the policy.
Nearly 7,000 employees took part in the survey, many of whom drive large commercial vehicles or vans for their employers. Four percent reported having been criticized for not answering calls, texts or emails when they were operating the vehicle. The situation is made more stressful by the fact that they recognize that it is fundamentally unsafe for them to do so.
Using a mobile phone to make a hands-on call, to text or to email not only puts drivers at risk but also greatly increases corporate liability should a driver end up getting into an accident while doing so. In the worst case scenario, should a death occur as a result of such an accident the company could actually be held liable for corporate manslaughter.
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