Fleet News

Two-thirds of businesses fear staff are using phones while driving, TomTom survey finds

mobile phone penalties, driving while using mobile phone, SmartWitness mobile phone survey.

More than two-thirds (68%) of UK businesses are worried their employees are using mobile phones to text or access the internet while driving for work, research by TomTom Telematics has found.

The study also found 33% of organisations still have not taken steps to prevent employees from using mobile phones while driving, whether through specific policies, training or education.

This is despite the introduction of harsher penalties for people caught using their mobile phone while driving, which came into force on March 1 this year.

The standard fine doubled from £100 to £200 and drivers can now be given a penalty of six points on their licence.

Beverley Wise, director UK and Ireland at TomTom Telematics, said: "The World Health Organisation has called mobile phone use a ‘serious and growing threat to road safety’ and these results further highlight the extent of the problem faced by businesses.

“It’s a problem employers’ must tackle, however, if they are to demonstrate a genuine commitment to the wellbeing of their staff.

“A clear policy on the use of mobile phones should form part of a best practice approach to road safety, but cultural change is also vital.

"Ingrained habits are hard to break but continuous training, education and communication can help to change employees’ mindsets and encourage a greater focus on safe driving.”

The research also revealed that 68% of organisations still allow hands-free use of mobile phones by employees driving for business purposes.

However, studies have shown that talking on a hands-free phone can be as distracting as talking on a hand-held mobile.

Wise added: “There is evidence to suggest hands-free use of mobile phones can be highly distracting so businesses should consider this when deciding how far policies extend.

"Technology such as telematics can also play an important role in helping to identify when employees are driving distracted by continuously monitoring performance. Incidences of harsh steering or braking, for example, might be indicative of greater problems that require attention.”

Click here for safety and risk management best practice and procurement insight

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


  • Derek Webb - 07/11/2017 14:16

    We all see phones being hand held by drivers, it's is a serious problem and one that OEM's, that includes LCV and HGV manufacturers, can take a more active part by fitting quality and not token hands free sets as standard speck. Having seen two horrific accidents in the past week, on French roads, both involving trucks on motorways, where one truck had buried itself in the back of another at speed. I had to consider that the driver of the "falt" vehicle was not consentrating on the road ahead and lost their lives for it. Any legislation to help drivers to maintain their focus on their driving would be welcomed I am sure and those that use computers or TV's whilst driving should be banned for a considerable period of time.

Related content

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee