New research from RAC Business has revealed that one in five (19%) UK firms say their employees have been involved in an accident while driving for work due to using a handheld phone at the wheel.
A year after increased penalties were introduced for using handheld phones at the wheel on 1st March 2017, the research found 15% of businesses admit their drivers are ‘often involved’ in accidents while using a handheld phone. And 5% even said it happened ‘on a regular basis’.
According to RAC Business, one of the contributing factors could be that 38% of businesses said they expect commercial drivers to answer calls while on the road. For larger businesses (500 to 1000 employees) that figure rises to 49%.
However, almost a third (30%) of businesses of all sizes don’t provide legally compliant hands-free kits and 20% have no policy for mobile phone use while driving.
The results of the survey have prompted calls from RAC Business for fleets and business owners to highlight the dangers of using a handheld phone at the wheel to their employees, and to make sure they have a policy in place for the use of phones while driving for work.
Rod Dennis, from the RAC’s Be Phone Smart campaign, which was launched to encourage motorists to pledge not to use their handheld phone or smart device at the wheel, said the law is clear on the issue.
“It is illegal to use a handheld phone while driving. But at the same time we recognise that businesses need to stay in touch with drivers and commercial vehicle drivers need to stay in touch with customers,” he said. “The use of hands-free kits is within the law and that can provide a legal and safer solution for businesses, which is how many different businesses operate.”
If you have been injured in a work-related accident then contact our specialist personal injury lawyers today to find out more about your compensation rights.