Phones and driving do not mix

Over the past month, 3 relatives and friends have been involved in motor vehicle accidents where at least one of the drivers has admitted to texting or doing emails while driving.

As well, there was the tragic accident involving two police officers who were severely injured whilst setting up a random breath testing station in Sydney. Another case in the last month where the driver admitted to being distracted by their phone.

This is a serious problem that is confronting society and the insurance industry and I support the decision by more and more underwriters to include an exclusion in their policy, giving them the ability to deny liability in the event that the insured driver was texting whilst driving and the accident occurred.

Clearly the police alone cannot address this situation, which to my mind, is only becoming worse.

3 responses to “Phones and driving do not mix”

  1. Sam says:

    Hello Professor Manning

    I enjoy your various blogs posts and appreciate your insights and knowledge on so many subjects surrounding insurance.
    While I agree that more can and should be done to address the issue of mobile phone usage in vehicles, I would hate to think of the disadvantaged innocent parties who would impacted by this exclusion.
    Such as those who have one car, and no insurance or third party only.
    While having liability for the drivers own damage excluded might be reasonable, I again don’t think that it is the responsibility of any insurance company to be the leader in dictating social responsibility alone.
    Besides the fact that due to the industries subpar reputation in the public domain the “they already don’t pay claims” mentality could dilute the seriousness of this issue in the publics minds.

    I think the police can do more to address this problem, however that may involve a change from being “mobile speed cameras” to being mobile “mobile user catchers”.
    Combined with changes to mobile phone penalties, to make them far more significant, treating them similar to a drunk or drug influenced driver, while a response like this could put additional pressure on our legal system.

    In a world where we are being continually bombarded with information, and immediate responses, where our mobile phones connect to our cars and guide us to destinations, where being connected at all times is the norm, perhaps the likes of Facebook, twitter, snapchat, Microsoft, apple, google, along with car manufactures and each of the states licencing authorities need to be involved.

    This is a growing issue, and it needs to be addressed, not just by one group, but by many.
    Because we know that these pocket-sized devices which power so much of our lives, are not going away, and their influence is only going to grow through our need to “connect” to everything “NOW”

    But it is definitely something which the insurance industry can lead the beginnings of the discussion.


  2. Jeanette Trotman says:

    I am so pleased that someone else feels the same regarding drivers texting or talking on their phone. They seem to wander over the road and are a danger to all other drivers and themselves

  3. nagyi says:

    Sam says:,thank you for this post. Its very inspiring.

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