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Almost 30% of road deaths involve at-work drivers

The Strategic Review of the Management of Occupational Road Risk commissioned by RosPA and carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory and the Centre for Transport Studies at University College assesses the progress made in helping employers to manage the risks their staff face, and create, when they use the road for work purposes.

Since 2006, 4,726 people have been killed and more than 40,000 seriously injured in collisions involving an at-work driver or rider (not including commuting). Since then, almost 30% of road deaths and just over 22% of serious casualties occurred in accidents involving at least one at-work driver or rider.

The research also finds that often, it is not the at-work driver or rider who is killed or injured, but another road user. In 2012, 87 at-work drivers were killed and 16,720 injured in these collisions, but 422 other road users were also killed, and 25,484 injured.

The review, which was carried out as part of the RoSPA/BNFL scholarship scheme, makes a number of key recommendations. These include:

  • Doing more to ensure work-related road safety is given the same widespread attention as general health and safety
  • Improving data on work-related driving risk, including better recording by the police, and by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
  • Properly evaluating the effectiveness of different approaches to the management of occupational road risk (MORR)
  • Conducting more work into the effectiveness of in-car data recorders and monitoring technologies
  • Reviving the Occupational Road Safety Alliance in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders, and supported by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Kevin Clinton, RoSPA’s head of road safety, said: ‘Injuries and deaths sustained from work-related driving remain a priority action point for both road and occupational safety. As the latest figures show, up to a third of road accidents involve someone who is using the road for work purposes.

‘This review further emphasises the need for the awareness of MORR to be raised and given the priority it deserves. RoSPA will lead a MORR stakeholder forum in the autumn to help develop an action plan. We will also be developing guidance for employers to help them evaluate the measures they have to manage their occupational road risks.’

Dr Shaun Helman, TRL’s head of transport psychology, said: ‘Work-related driving remains an important area for action if we are to sustain progress in reducing the burden of road injuries. Although some businesses are switched on to the issue, most of the time injuries sustained on the road are not afforded the same priority as injuries sustained on work premises and sites. This needs to change, and the recommendations in this report provide a starting point.’

To download the full review, visit www.rospa.com/drivertraining/morr/info/morr-strategic-review.pdf.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.