At least a quarter of road deaths involve someone driving for work, figures from road safety charity Brake revealed today.
Brake said Department for Transport (DfT) statistics showed that last year there were 858 deaths and 6,622 serious injuries in crashes involving at-work drivers.
Brake added that the actual figure could be much higher, with indications that at-work casualties were being under-reported by police.
The charity said the figures show an increase of 9% in deaths and serious injuries in crashes involving at-work drivers from 2005.
Jools Townsend, head of education at Brake, says: ‘It’s shocking that so many people are killed or hurt due to at-work driver crashes – and the reality could be even worse than these statistics suggest.
‘The government must ensure a more stringent approach to collecting data on at-work crashes, so we can fully understand the extent of the problem.’
She went on: ‘We’re urging businesses to wake up to the need to manage and reduce risks faced by employees driving for work – and the risks posed to others. That means having a comprehensive safe driving policy, to ensure drivers are not under pressure to take risks like speeding or driving when tired, and educating drivers on the consequences of breaking rules behind the wheel.’
A Department for Transport spokesman said: ‘We are determined to reduce the number of deaths involving those driving for work.
‘Earlier this year we launched our first Think! Driving For Work campaign, which was aimed predominantly at van drivers and highlighted the real dangers that arise from distractions – such as eating and drinking, reading maps or talking on a hands-free phone while driving.
‘The next phase of the campaign, being launched in March, will also be designed to speak to company car drivers.
‘We are also working directly with businesses to help them keep their employees safe on the road. Employers and employees alike need to realise that there are more effective ways of getting the job done than by risking lives.’
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