Records show that at least 24% of road deaths and serious injuries involve a vehicle which is being driven for work. The process of driving to work is often one of the most hectic of the day and many drivers are focused on their work rather than the roads or are rushing due to traffic or lateness. Brake, the road safety charity, recently issued an appeal to employers to play a role in preventing the large number of pedestrian and cyclist casualties.
Recently released government figures reveal at 6 people are killed and 157 people are seriously injured every single week whilst walking or cycling. Many industries where drivers are part of the working team don’t provide the necessary safety information and support, ensuring their drivers are safe on the roads and pose no additional risk to other road users.
On 15th October a Brake and Licence Bureau report was released and found that many companies with staff who drive for work don’t have good practice procedures to protect cyclists and pedestrians. More than half of all companies in the report were found not to provide driver education on protecting pedestrians and cyclists and 68% did not instruct drivers to slow down to 20mph around schools, homes and busy shopping areas. Even more worryingly 6 in 10 companies don’t instruct their drivers on looking twice and checking mirrors at junctions, with close lookout for cyclists and motorcyclists and a huge 89% don’t plan their routes to avoid schools and residential areas, something Brake would consider good practice.
The survey took into account responses from 228 companies who operated a range of different vehicles from large commercial vehicles to company cars and vans, as well as those who employ people using their own vehicles to attend business appointments.
Planning for Safe Driving at Work
Brake advises companies to provide all employees who drive for work with specific training, especially in relation to vulnerable road users. Cyclists, pedestrians and those on motorbikes account for a huge 59% of all deaths and serious injuries on the roads and therefore, they need protecting. Brake advises driver education, journey planning, additional technology to minimise blind spots and a safety first culture within companies should be a priority. If business vehicle users can set a precedent then maybe private vehicle users will follow suit.
Road Safety Week takes place next month and Brake are urging all companies with drivers to take part and raise awareness of the dangers on the road. Employers can sign up to Road Safety Week for more information and events to get involved in.