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Commercial fleet insurance – our new series on managing the risks of distracted driving

We all expect to complete our journeys on the road safely and without incident.

For many commercial fleets, driver and public safety is a top priority, and organisations take great care to prevent costly and potentially deadly accidents.

From a business point of view, distracted driving can lead to increased insurance premiums, costly repairs, decreased productivity and reputational damage. Managing the risks is therefore crucial to keeping your drivers safe, your business on the road and insurance costs under control.

In this new series, we’ll cover the types of distracted driving, the legal implications, tips for employers and drivers. We can also help you create a distracted driving policy.

What is distracted driving?

Distracted driving can be defined as inattentiveness on the road caused by an object, activity, event or person. This inattentiveness reduces awareness, decision-making and performance, increasing the likelihood of driver error, near-crashes or crashes. What’s more, distracted driving is not always attributable to a medical condition, alcohol and drug use, or fatigue. 

While a number of factors can lead to a crash (e.g. impaired driving, poor road conditions and adverse weather), distracted driving is a common, preventable cause of accidents.  

Distracted or impaired driving contributed to 17% of all car accidents in Great Britain in 2020.1

Studies have shown that many collisions and near-collisions involve some form of driver inattention, often just three seconds prior to the event. These statistics are particularly noteworthy for fleets, as many commercial vehicles have poorer driver visibility than personal cars and are much more difficult to control or stop in the event of an emergency.  

Distracted driving is not always attributable to a medical condition, alcohol and drug use, or fatigue.

Mobile phones and the impact on motor accidents.

Individuals using a mobile phone while driving are four times as likely to be involved in a crash, according to the government.  

In 2020 alone, drivers in Great Britain distracted by mobile phones contributed to 17 fatal incidents, 97 serious incidents and 254 “slight” incidents, according to DFT data.  

In March 2022, the government even strengthened the law forbidding mobile device usage while driving to combat the growing issue.  

Managing your commercial fleet insurance risk

Distracted driving is only one area that can have an impact on your insurance. Having an overall risk management policy in place for your fleet is vital for safety and success. 

In our next instalment, we’ll cover the laws regarding distracted driving, including drink-driving and drug use – and how, as an employer, you can respond to incidents. 

We’ll also provide tips and guidelines for your drivers and a template distracted driving policy.  

Watch out for the next instalment – follow us on LinkedIn to find out more.