Rider distraction policy

The purpose of this policy is to educate customers on the hazards involved when a driver is driving while distracted.  While factors such as speeding, drink driving and fatigue can contribute to the cause of an accident, driving while distracted can be just as dangerous.

Driver distractions
Distracted drivers are a danger not only to themselves and yourself, as the passenger, but to other road users as well. Drivers must at all times remain focused when performing rideshare services.

One of the most common and most dangerous distractions is when drivers are using their mobile phone while driving, which often results in a loss of concentration.

Other common distractions while driving include (but are not limited to):

  • talking or scrolling on a mobile phone
  • reading or sending a text on a mobile phone
  • holding a mobile phone
  • using a mobile phone in any manner without the phone being placed in a cradle.
  • Being touched or tapped by a passenger
  • Yelling, screaming or behaving inappropriately
  • Being violent or aggressive towards a driver
  • Telling the driver where to go or how to get somewhere

Risk of an accident
Distractions that divert attention from driving increase the risk of an accident.

Recent research suggests that at least 14% of all crashes involve the driver being distracted and as many as one in ten fatalities have been directly attributed to driver distraction. When a driver is distracted they are more like to make a mistake while driving. The source of distractions from within vehicles that lead to accidents account for up to about 36% of accidents.

Research has also shown that drivers using mobile phones are also much more likely to be involved in an accident. Sending and receiving text messages on a mobile phone while driving and text entry into a Global Positioning Systems (GPS) while driving can be extremely dangerous, and may also be illegal.

Any distraction that diverts a driver’s attention to their driving task significantly increases the likelihood of  becoming involved in an accident. This means that drivers should avoid or minimise distractions when they drive, particularly when they are driving to unfamiliar destinations. Likewise, customers should also refrain from distracting the driver where possible.

Handy tips
Ola recommends customers adopt the following tips to help avoid distracting a driver whilst driving:

  • If the driver is on the phone and it is not an emergency, politely ask them to get off the phone while driving.
  • Confirm the address you are travelling to before the trip commences and understand that the Ola app will take the fastest route to get there. Don’t try and offer navigation advice mid-trip as this can distract or confuse drivers.
  • Don’t touch the driver in any way regardless of how friendly you think you are being.
  • If you want to add a stop or change your destination address, do it through the Ola app and advise the driver that you have done so. Don’t demand the driver to take you to the new location and attempt to guide them there yourself.
  • Don’t be overly loud in the vehicle as this can distract the driver.
  • Enjoy the ride! 🙂