RESEARCH has found drivers using hands-free kits make up to four times as many mistakes when driving, compared to motorists with no distractions.
The AA research, which tested drivers using hands-free kits under controlled conditions, found that they became dangerously distracted while having a conversation.
Although hands-free kits will not be included in the impending legislation on mobile phones due in less than two weeks, one legal expert believes it is the fleet executive's duty to make drivers aware of the dangers of driving while using such kits.
David Young, partner at business lawyer Eversheds, said: 'Employers must make sure that employees who regularly use even hands-free equipment are fully aware of the potential risks, particularly if they are involved in an accident while on the phone.'
The Government launched its national campaign on Monday in a bid to educate drivers on the forthcoming legislation. Radio adverts are set to run for four weeks, with additional material appearing in the national press from December 1.
Transport Minister David Jamieson said: 'Driving while using a mobile phone is dangerous, you are risking your own life and those of other road users. It's hard to concentrate when you are doing two things at once and any driver will be distracted by a phone call or text message.'