The Royal Mail Group Safety Health and Environment Team will be issuing a national road safety briefing/huddle week commencing Monday 13 December about 'driving distractions' which will be supported by a slide on the RMTV screens throughout the business to support the road safety message to drivers; writes CWU’s Health, Safety and Environment National Officer Dave Joyce in his latest Letter To Branches (LTB539/21).
The LTB goes on to report on Driver Distraction Study Results:
A recent driver distraction survey found the most common distracting activities were reported as:
It says that the Report Conclusion was that 20% or one fifth of RTCs are attributed to driver distraction!
Meanwhile, The AA’s website dealing with the use of mobile phones whilst driving, says that penalties for hand-held mobile phone offences can reach a maximum of 6 points plus a £2,500 fine.
Regarding the statistics of road traffic accidents where using a mobile phone was a contributory factor, the AA tell us that in 2019, a DfT report on Contributory Factors for Reported Road Accidents shows that 103 serious accidents and 17 fatal ones in the UK occurred.
Daver Joyce’s Letter to Branches provides details of the Key Messages in Next Week's RMG Briefing:
Think about what distracts you when driving.
A few tips to help you avoid some of the most common distractions:
· Put your phone away – there is no safe way to use a mobile phone whilst driving.
Royal Mail policy prohibits any use of mobile phones whilst driving, including hands-free.
Turn it off, or to silent, and put it out of sight.
· Mail in the cab – ever put mail on the dashboard? How does that affect visibility? Tried reading an address whilst driving? What if a pedestrian stepped out in that moment? Only put mail in the driver seat in a MB44 pouch.
· Turn the radio down – it’s ok to play music at a reasonable volume. But if it’s too loud, or if you use earphones then you will miss auditory clues about hazards – maybe the sound of children playing, a shouted warning, or a siren in the distance. Top Tip – when reversing, lower your window a little to improve your hearing.
· Sat Nav – knowing where you are going can help you to focus attention on your safe driving, just make sure you programme it before you set off.
· Top Tip - Commentary Drive – as you are driving try speaking out loud, saying what hazards you see and how you are reacting. This is a great technique to improve your observation and anticipation, and it requires your full concentration. If you are struggling to keep up with everything going on, reduce your speed.
The Letter To Branches concludes:
Fact Sheets and Further Advice
See the Driver Distraction Fact Sheet from RoSPA.
Further advice, including how to ‘Stay sharp while you're behind the wheel’ and a short video on ‘Driver Distractions – What to watch out for’ can be found on the AA website using this link: https://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/safety/driver-distractions
Area Safety Rep Action:
ASRs support the briefing and ensure its delivered in all Units and cascade the information.
Source: CWU LTB539/21
The Driver Distraction Fact Sheet from RoSPA can be downloaded from the Unionsafety E-Library using the search category of ‘Road Safety’.