A new report is calling for more of attention to be given to the safety of people driving for work, as figures suggest nearly a third of road fatalities occur in at-word crashes.
A study of UK statistics by University College London for charity RoadSafe on behalf of Highways England found 29% of deaths and 21% of all casualties were work-related, meaning more people die on at-work road trips than in the workplace itself, despite the dangers posed by professions such as construction, farming or mining.
In 2018, 520 people died in collisions involving a driver or rider driving for work, but only 12% of them were working drivers or riders. 5% of the fatalities were passengers of a driver driving for work, while 83%t of those killed were non-working road-users.
That means 39%of pedestrian fatalities in the UK were in collision with a ‘working’ driver, causing up to 11 pedestrian deaths a month.
The researchers say there is a ‘lack of attention to work-related road safety’ by policymakers, and warn that despite a rapid increase in vans (up by 27% from 3.24m light goods vehicles in 2011 to 4.12m in 2019) and people working in the gig economy, this sector falls outside the strict regulations governing other occupational drivers.
They add that, despite businesses switching to ‘last mile deliveries’ by vans – coinciding with the boom in internet shopping – vans and drivers are not subject to the strict driver training, drivers’ hours restrictions and roadworthiness regulations governing HGVs.
They recommend a national survey of those employed to drive for work, the establishment of better evidence on effective interventions and the forming of a strategic partnership with the DfT, Health and Safety Executive, Businesses, Police, Road Safety Charities and platform owners.
Yesterday, a report from Euro NCAP and Thatcham said van makers needed to fit more safety technology to their vehicles.
Read the full UCL report here.
(Graphic – University College London, Roadsafe, Highways England)