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It’s 2017 and life is seriously fast paced. Aside from breathing, using our mobile phones is probably the most regular thing that we do across our busy day to keep connected.

A recent study by eMarketer found that the total time spent by mobile users is approximately 4 hours, and 5 minutes per day. In young people the time spent is even higher, with millenials checking their phones a staggering 157 times per day on average.

Whether or not that time spent is effective or otherwise is open to debate, but it pales in comparison to the more serious nature of phone use while on the road.

The Deloitte 2015 mobile consumer survey, which tracked the smartphone habits of over 1500 Australians, found a staggering 42 per cent of mobile users aged 18-75 had used their phones while driving.

Four per cent of those respondents admitted that they use their phones while driving “always or very often”, and a further 21 per cent said they had done so “sometimes”.

So the question for fleet managers is how do we ensure that our drivers are being responsible while out on the roads?

Define a policy

Decide whether your fleet policy will prohibit all mobile phone use entirely or if it will allow drivers to use hands free devices. Encouraging drivers to pull to the side of the road to receive or make calls could be a positive compromise for a most businesses.

Limit communications

Keep your correspondence to employees on the road to only essential ones. Don’t send unimportant emails or texts to driver you know are out on the road if possible to ensure they aren’t distracted.

Outline consequences

Plan consequences for emploees that don’t comply with your company’s policy. This make include verbal or written warnings, or banning certain drivers from using fleet vehicles for a period of time

Educate drivers

Make sure that all new drivers of your fleet are educated on the company policies and ensure they are comfortable with these before heading out the road.

It may seem excessive, but all it takes is one small moment of distraction on the road for everything to turn pear shaped.

At best, your company car will be damaged and your employee will come back a little red faced. At worst the car will be totalled and your driver may not return to work at all.

Don’t take the risk.