One in five accidents occur when driving for work
Figures released by Road Safety UK show that one in five accidents occur when people are driving for work.
As a result of these findings, businesses are being encouraged to take action after it was revealed that people are more likely to be involved in a road accident as the result of a business driver, as opposed to a drink driver.
The statistics covered a period from 2008-2012 and showed that 7,778 people in the north east alone were involved in an accident while the driver was undertaking a journey for work.
In the five years, there were more than 6,000 accidents, which resulted in 74 deaths, more than 700 serious injuries, and thousands more of minor injuries.
It was also revealed that the peak times for these work-related accidents were the autumn and winter months. Accidents were most common in the morning, with 8.00am being the most common time for a road accident to occur.
The statistics also showed that Northumberland, Newcastle and County Durham had the highest amounts of collisions from work journeys, while Gateshead had the highest proportion of accidents when it came to business drivers.
Cars are most often involved in work-related accidents and account for 58% of them. Small goods vehicles made up 21% of the accident figures, while heavy goods vehicles accounted for 9% of the statistics.
Council officers have called on business drivers to reduce their speeds to help lower the number of accidents involving company vehicles.
Employees were also urged to give themselves plenty of time to get to their destinations, so that they don’t have to speed to try and make up for lost time.
However, businesses are also being warned that they must take responsibility for their drivers, because if a death should occur they could be held responsible under the Corporate Manslaughter Act if they do not have the appropriate policies in place.
This means that businesses have the responsibility to ensure that their drivers have an adequate amount of time to travel from job to job. In addition, drivers are required to have regular rest breaks and they must not be discussing business-related issues on their mobile phone when they are driving.
Moreover, companies have the responsibility to ensure that drivers are not under stress and that they are not putting undue pressure on drivers to take risks; they should not be putting pressure on drivers to make deliveries quicker.