IAM RoadSmart has called for ‘urgent action’ to tackle the decade-long stagnation in the number of collisions caused by drivers at work.
DfT figures show in 2018, there were 5,506 serious and fatal crashes in Britain involving an at-work driver – compared to 5,442 in 2009.
In a new white paper, IAM RoadSmart says responsibility for the ‘disappointing lack of progress’ must be shared between Government, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), police, employers, vehicle manufacturers and drivers themselves.
A survey carried out for the white paper reveals 49% of business leaders polled expect their employees to answer their phone at any time, including while driving for work.
Nearly one in five (17%) of employees who responded to the survey said they have been involved in an incident when driving for work due to a phone call from a colleague.
IAM RoadSmart says the survey highlights ‘alarming practices and attitudes’ when it comes to employers and their drivers.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “Employers need to do more to drive change across their workforce and to take their responsibilities to keep staff safe, particularly when they’re behind the wheel for business.”
The report also highlights the issue of ‘grey fleet’ drivers – those using privately owned vehicles for work-related journeys.
IAM RoadSmart says this growing sector is one in which employers still need to exercise their responsibility for staff health and safety.
Tony Greenidge, IAM RoadSmart business development director, said: “The penny hasn’t dropped for many organisations that their responsibility for a grey fleet driver is exactly the same as for a company car driver.
“If companies are expecting their employees to use their own vehicles for business journeys, they must ensure they are doing so safely and with appropriate guidelines, if they are to stay within the law.”