UK Road Safety Charity, IAM Roadsmart has delivered a call to action for working drivers and their employers, stating that more needs to be done to keep working drivers safe and reduce the levels of accidents on the roads.
Their report has found that there were 5,506 serious and fatal crashed that occurred in 2018, where at-work drivers were involved, a number that has increased over time. This is in sharp contrast to the overall number of deaths and serious accidents in general, which has shown a reassuring decrease over the same amount of time. Also worrying was that almost half of employers expected their employees to answer their phone whilst they were on the road. A shocking 13% of those surveyed said that the hard shoulder was a suitable place to take or make work phone calls, and 17% of driving employees said they had been involved in an incident as a result of a phone call from a colleague.
The head of the charity said that not only do employers have to wise up about what is acceptable for their own, in-house drivers, but that many don’t realise that grey-fleet (self-employed, but working for the company) drivers are also liable and subject to the same codes of conduct and laws as those who are fully employed.
The report goes on to demand that more needs to be done by businesses in terms of educating drivers on codes of conduct and behaving responsibly whilst behind the wheel and that companies need to have a responsible set of rules for all their drivers, employed or not.
Many employers and employees fail to acknowledge that while taking hands-free calls is legal, it is still a significant distraction that they should actively be avoiding. And the reality is that for businesses who have a fleet of drivers, around 30% of that fleet will be involved in some kind of collision whilst on the roads each year.
Employers need to have solid health and safety whilst driving at work plans, but many still do not.
Meanwhile, almost a third of drivers for work do not have the correct insurance and are lacking any or adequate cover for business travel, rendering their policies useless. And, while we don’t have all the answers for improving road safety, that one we can help with. Simply fill out our online form and let the best insurers come to you directly with a range of insurance policies for van drivers that will cover pretty much all eventualities.
Stay safe, out there!