May 14, 2014
As if it weren’t perilous enough to be sitting on your backside for hours every day while trying to subsist on a diet of coffee and Ginsters’ pasties, new research from Regus UK has highlighted just how many British road warriors routinely work behind the wheel. The poll of 1,800 managers and business owners revealed that around three quarters of them routinely use their mobile phone while driving, both breaking the law and imperilling themselves and other road users in the process. Around two-fifths of respondents admit they have dialled into conference calls while driving and a fifth said they have held important business discussions, when either they or the person with whom they were talking was in apparent control of a ton of speeding hot metal.
‘The devastating consequences of being distracted while driving are well documented, with one study showing that those on hands-free phones are slower to break and are as affected as ‘drunk drivers’, claims John Spencer, CEO of Regus UK. ‘Yet our research reveals just how common it is for people to put themselves – and other road users – at risk. The real issue is how employers are managing their mobile workforces. Too few companies pay adequate attention to how, and where, their teams work. Training, clear rules especially in regard to mobile devices alongside practical provisions are all essential to ensure that staff work safely and productively.’
While Regus’s interest in this topic isn’t entirely altruistic, of course, the problem of mobile phone use while driving is significant. In the US, the use of phones has been implicated in more than one in four accidents and in the UK, while official data is lacking, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has issued specific guidance on the issue, not least highlighting how high mileage drivers are far more likely to habitually use their phones when they should be focussing on their safety and that of their fellow travellers. Perversely, the vast majority of people believe that use of a mobile phone while driving is inherently dangerous according to RoSPA, yet that doesn’t stop people doing it.