03/24/2005

Speedy on the road

Driving is the most dangerous work activity that most people undertake. Many
people are killed and even more are seriously injured every week in crashes
involving someone who was driving, riding or otherwise using the road for work
purposes.

The British Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has led a campaign to
highlight the risks faced by company car and van drivers and others who are on
the road as part of their job. Pressure of business can make workers more
likely to speed. Company car drivers often exceed speed limits in order to get
to appointments on time, are less likely to view speeding as risky and more
likely to think that being on time is more important. Company car drivers and
people who drive high annual mileages for work are up to 50 per cent more
likely to crash than private motorists.

RoSPA's new publication Driving for Work: Safer Speed Policy have been produced
with the support of the Department for Transport to help bosses deal with the
problems. If we are to reduce the number of work-related road accidents, it is
vital that employers play their part by having policies in place to deal with
managing occupational road risk, including tackling inappropriate speed.

One of the most significant risks is staff driving or riding at inappropriate
speeds on work-related journeys.This includes both exceeding the speed limit
and driving (or riding) within the limit but still too fast for the conditions
(for example, twisting rural roads, poor weather, poor visibility or high
pedestrian activity). At higher speeds, there is less time to identify and
react to what is happening, it takes longer to stop and impacts are more
severe, causing more serious injuries to vehicle occupants and others. Higher
speeds also magnify other driver errors, such as close-following or driving
when tired or distracted, thus multiplying the chances of causing a
crash.

Drivers who 'speed' crash more often than those who don't. Company car drivers
often exceed speed limits in order to get to appointments on time, are less
likely to view speeding as risky and more likely to think that being on time is
more important. Company car drivers and people who drive high annual mileages
for work are up to 50% more likely to crash than private motorists.

The leaflet gives simple advice on how employers and line managers can help to
ensure that their staff are not tempted or pressurised into driving at
inappropriate speed.

A sample 'Safer Speed Policy' is attached, and can be adopted as written or
adapted to suit your organisation's needs. It can be used as a stand-alone
policy or incorporated into a wider'Safer Driving for Work'policy.

Further information


AplusA-online.de - Source: Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents