DON’T BLAME MIL­LEN­NI­ALS, DIS­TRACTED DRIV­ING IS AGE­LESS

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - NEWS - Ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion cour­tesy of the Min­istry of Trans­port/ Te Manatū Waka & New Zealand Trans­port Agency/ Waka Ko­tahi.

Over­all, driv­ing is the most dan­ger­ous work ac­tiv­ity that most peo­ple do, and it con­trib­utes to far more work- re­lated ac­ci­den­tal deaths and se­ri­ous in­juries than all other work ac­tiv­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to an in­ter­na­tional watch­dog. In New Zealand, ac­ci­dent man­age­ment and col­li­sion re­pair ser­vice Crash Man­age­ment, notes that 30 per­cent of New Zealand’s road ac­ci­dents are work- re­lated, in­clud­ing 31 fa­tal­i­ties last year.

New in­ter­na­tional re­search which sug­gests Gen­er­a­tion X – that’s those born early-to- mid 1960s to the early 1980s – is more likely to use their phone when driv­ing than younger gen­er­a­tions, may have im­pli­ca­tions for road safety in New Zealand – ac­cord­ing to an in­dus­try ex­pert.

Volvo’s New Zealand GM Coby Dug­gan says dis­tracted driv­ing is a sig­nif­i­cant is­sue around the world and while it is of­ten at­trib­uted to a younger, tech savvy age group, a new US re­port by the car­maker has found Gen­er­a­tion X (the par­ents of Gen­er­a­tion Z) are the most preva­lent dis­tracted driv­ers.

Lat­est Min­istry of Trans­port fig­ures in­di­cate that each year over 100 Kiwi driv­ers in­volved in crashes re­sult­ing in fa­tal­ity or in­jury con­trib­uted to the ac­ci­dent through be­ing dis­tracted by a cell­phone.

Dug­gan says the Min­istry’s data also shows that for ev­ery 100 New Zealand driv­ers or rid­ers who died in road crashes where di­verted at­ten­tion was a con­tribut­ing fac­tor, 85 pas­sen­gers and an­other 100 road users also lost their lives.

“Dis­tracted driv­ing is a sig­nif­i­cant is­sue on our roads and is a con­tribut­ing fac­tor in around eight per­cent of fa­tal crashes in this coun­try. Like the US, this is­sue is ev­i­dent across gen­er­a­tions and af­fects all road users – in­clud­ing mo­torists, pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists,” he says.

Dug­gan says many of those sur­veyed in the Volvo re­search felt there are more driv­ing dis­trac­tions to­day than there were five years ago. More than half of those sur­veyed (55 per­cent) say the top threat to safety on the road is driv­ing dis­tracted, com­pared to driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence (31 per­cent).

AD­DI­TIONAL HIGH­LIGHTS FROM THE RE­SEARCH IN­CLUDED:

• Gen-X and Mil­len­ni­als con­sis­tently out­pace Zs in phone us­age across mul­ti­ple ac­tiv­i­ties.

• Par­ents are pri­mary cul­prits of us­ing their phones be­hind the wheel ( 73 per­cent vs. 66 per­cent over­all).

• One in three par­ents ad­mits to us­ing their phones of­ten when their chil­dren are with them in the car.

• Many (64 per­cent) are look­ing for ways to cut down on the dis­trac­tions; among Gen-Z that num­ber rises to 89 per­cent

• 33 per­cent of those sur­veyed drive in si­lence to min­imise dis­trac­tions and 32 per­cent turn their phone onto “do not dis­turb” to elim­i­nate no­ti­fi­ca­tions.

• 89 per­cent of re­spon­dents feel we need bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion around the im­pact of dis­tracted driv­ing.

The MoT re­ports that in 2016, di­verted at­ten­tion was iden­ti­fied as a con­tribut­ing fac­tor in a to­tal of 1,097 crashes (11 per­cent of all crashes), of which 17 were fa­tal crashes, 172 were se­ri­ous in­jury crashes, and 908 were mi­nor in­jury crashes. These crashes re­sulted in 22 deaths, 210 se­ri­ous in­juries and 1,209 mi­nor in­juries. The to­tal so­cial cost of crashes in­volv­ing di­verted at­ten­tion was about $ 333 mil­lion, which is ap­prox­i­mately 8 per­cent of the so­cial cost as­so­ci­ated with all ca­su­alty crashes.

Over the years 2014 to 2016, ‘at­ten­tion di­verted by’ for driv­ers was a fac­tor in 12 per­cent of all ca­su­alty crashes, 8 per­cent of fa­tal crashes, 9 per­cent of se­ri­ous in­jury crashes and 12 per­cent of mi­nor in­jury crashes. Seventy per­cent of the fa­tal crashes, 49 per­cent of the se­ri­ous in­jury crashes and 36 per­cent of the mi­nor in­jury crashes oc­curred on the open road (speed zones 80km/ h and over).

Em­ploy­ees are Em­ployer’s re­spon­si­bil­i­ties when an em­ployee drives a ve­hi­cle at work

Em­ploy­ers must en­sure, so far as is rea­son­ably prac­ti­ca­ble, the health and safety of em­ploy­ees while they are at work. This in­cludes when they are in, or op­er­at­ing a ve­hi­cle for work pur­poses. An em­ployer must also make sure that all em­ploy­ees are trained and su­per­vised so that they can do their work du­ties safely. This means: Em­ploy­ers mak­ing sure that any ve­hi­cle used for work pur­poses is:

• Road­wor­thy and war­ranted

• Ad­e­quately and ap­pro­pri­ately in­sured.

• Loaded and used only within its spec­i­fied ca­pa­bil­ity. For ex­am­ple, if a ve­hi­cle is badly loaded a driver’s vi­sion could be im­paired or they could be hurt by cargo. Em­ploy­ers mak­ing sure that em­ploy­ees op­er­at­ing a ve­hi­cle:

• Have the ap­pro­pri­ate driver’s li­cence class.

• Can drive ef­fec­tively at the time, for ex­am­ple, they’re not fa­tigued or af­fected by al­co­hol or drugs.

• Com­ply with driv­ing hours re­stric­tions for heavy ve­hi­cles.

• Com­ply with the con­di­tions of their driv­ing li­cence, for ex­am­ple, wear­ing glasses.

• Com­plete log­books ac­cu­rately and fully.

• Com­ply with ve­hi­cle load­ing and other safety re­quire­ments.

• Have enough time to do the task safely.

• Are phys­i­cally ca­pa­ble of do­ing the task. The New Zealand Trans­port Agency has a free pub­li­ca­tion that em­ploy­ers can use as a base to de­velop a safe driv­ing pol­icy.

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