Fleet News

Lytx welcomes focus on distracted driving

Lytx has welcomed news that the Transport Secretary is considering a number of options to combat distracted driving.

Lytx is also encouraging ministers reviewing current deterrents to consider ways to deter eating and drinking behind the wheel. This is based on Lytx data which shows that drivers who eat and drink while driving are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a collision than those who don’t.

The data shows that eating and drinking while driving is nearly as dangerous as using a mobile device, which makes drivers 4.7 times more likely to be involved in a collision.

General manager Paul Jones said: “We know that distracted driving is a significant factor in vehicle collisions. Our predictive analytics show that distractions, which include eating and drinking and use of mobile devices, are among the leading causes of collisions. The message is to remove all distractions and focus on driving safely. Getting into a collision and potentially causing serious injury simply isn’t worth it.

“Over 1,700 people were killed and more than 180,000 people were injured on UK roads in 2013, according to the most recent Department for Transport figures. The fact is that the majority of these incidents are due to human error and are avoidable. We’re dedicated to using our technology to help professional drivers adopt safer driving habits and measurably reduce the risk that is happening on our roads every day.”

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  • C R - 21/07/2014 13:44

    Im in full agreement that there needs to be a control on distractions, however i would argue that it is down to training rather than more legislation. If someone is a poor driver and not concentrating at the job in hand then they are a poor driver, regardless of if they have a coffee in hand or not. An example is how many clueless drivers sit in the middle lane of the motorway, obliviuos to the vehicles approaching behind and are not eating or drinking. Conversley the Police driver who is using his hand held radio and driving with haste to a job and doing a very good job of it. More emphasis on the correct attitude and screening out the 'air head' drivers at test time combined with ongoing education i think would be more effective than another list of items you will get penalty points and a fine for.

  • Edward Handley - 22/07/2014 08:29

    Distraction is a major cause of collisions but it is important to keep a sense of proportion. Legislation is a pretty blunt tool and constantly adding extra legal bans on what a driver is allowed to do will not necessarily have the desired effect and can easily have unintended consequences. For example, a ban on eating and drinking at the wheel might sound sensible, but it would probably mean that, like using a hand held mobile phone, you could not eat or drink anything unless the vehicle was parked and the engine turned off, but that would prevent a driver from taking a swig of water or eating a sweet from an open packet while stationary in a queue of traffic. If you think this is exaggeration you should remember the case a few years where a Police Officer gave someone a fixed penalty for eating a Kitkat in a queue of traffic! The impact of such a ban on many drivers would be quite serious - truck and coach drivers often have to drive for 3 or 4 hours non stop along motorways and on a hot summer day the inside of a cab, which is basically a greenhouse round the driver, can get pretty warm even with aircon and that can result in the rapid onset of dehydration which is exhausting, and fatigue is a big a killer as distraction. What about diabetics - they need to eat regularly to keep blood sugar levels right. Should they pull up on the hard shoulder or eat the emergency Mars bar while driving? Boredom is also a significant cause of collisions, particularly on long empty motorways and in the middle of the night, and a swig of water of coffee and a nibble can help to combat it. The call for another ban is actually missing the point: Its' not eating and drinking at the wheel that's the problem, it is the distraction of looking for the desired item and unwrapping it, and that is already adequately covered by "due care and attention". Banning distractions would mean banning you from tuning the radio, changing a CD, talking to a passenger, blowing your nose or even casting an eye over an attractive member of the opposite sex on the pavement! We do not need yet another ban, especially as there are not enough Cops to enforce the bans we already have!

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