The test was the idea of Permabond's market segment manager Andy Price - the winner of the fleet risk management award at last year's Fleet News Awards for his DriveSafe Initiative to create a culture of zero accidents. For the test, drivers were sent on a mock road course and their average speed recorded. They were then sent out again while speaking on a mobile phone and were asked basic questions about the business.
Of the 19 drivers involved, 18 recorded a slower average speed while on a mobile telephone. The one driver who did record a faster average speed was unable to answer any of the questions asked. While on the phone, eight drivers had 'accidents', including taking a roundabout the wrong way, running wide on a roundabout, hitting a tyre and a cone and driving into a roundabout. Only six managed to answer all of the questions, with the remainder struggling to answer some or any of the them.
Price said: 'The blanket ban on mobile telephones may reduce employees' efficiency slightly but we would rather have them alive. Drivers should take regular breaks so they can pick up any messages.'