Driving at work

For the majority of people, the most dangerous thing they do at work is drive on the public highway (HSE 1996).Person driving for work

In Oxfordshire between 2010 and 2014, where at least one person was making a journey as part of work:

  • Nearly a third of casualties were sustained in accidents.
  • On average every year a 100 people were killed or seriously injured in accidents.
  • 90% of the collisions involved mistakes and driver factors where risks can be reduced by training. Addressing factors, such as fatigue and excessive work pressures.

IAM RoadSmart have created a short video highlighting the dangers faced by people driving for work.

If you drive for work what can you do?

Check if your employer has a Driving at Work Policy

  • If they do are you following it?
  • Does your employer offer an advanced driving course?

Plan your journey

  • Check your vehicle before you set off.  Make sure it is in a safe condition.
  • Schedule regular breaks in or if possible share the driving on long journeys or if you will be behind the wheel for most of the day.
  • Plan your route and allow plenty of time.

Avoid distractions

  • Divert calls to your messenger service and check your calls when you take a break.
  • Have a no calls rule when driving. Pull over when it is safe instead (not the motorway hard-shoulder).
  • Let people know you do not answer calls when driving. Arrange a code for any urgent calls e.g. Call three times for a set number of rings, you can pull over when it is safe and return their call.
  • Ask your passenger to make or take the call instead.
  • In car technology or Sat Navs can be distracting. Set the systems before you drive. If you need to adjust them, pull over in a safe place.

Slow down

  • Watch your speed and following distance.
  • Allow plenty of time to stop.
  • Remember to expect the unexpected and allow yourself time to react.

Always wear your seatbelt

  • You are twice as likely to dies in a crash if you are not wearing a seatbelt.
  • Make sure any passengers are wearing theirs.

Don't drive tired

  • Take a break, especially on long journeys.
  • Plan rest breaks, at least every two hours.

Prescription drugs

  • Many prescription or over-the-counter drugs could impair your ability to drive.
  • If you’re on legal drugs and not sure, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare professional before driving.

Don't get caught out the morning after

  • You may not be aware of how long it takes for alcohol to leave your system meaning you could still be over the drink drive limit the morning after, even if you feel fine.
  • If you're planning on driving the next day make sure you know your limits and never drive if there’s even a slim chance you are still ‘under the influence’.
  • Time is the only way to get alcohol out of your system. Drinking coffee, sleeping, or having a shower doesn’t work.

Always wear your glasses

  • You must wear glasses or contact lenses every time you drive if you need them to meet the ‘standards of vision for driving’.
  • Keep a spare pair of glasses in your vehicle.

Don't pile up your vehicle

  • Store loads securely as loose objects can become lethal objects when braking.

Report all near misses

  • It will help your employer identify risks that need addressing.

Information for companies and managers

Driving at work; refers to any person driving a vehicle whilst carrying out work related business. It does not apply to commuting, unless the employee is travelling from their home to a location which is not their usual place of work.

Nationally it is estimated that more than 50% of fleet vehicles will be involved in a collision in the next 12 months. 

Having an up to date and effective driving for work policy has been shown to

  • Reduce
    • Crashes and scrapes between 25 and 40%.
    • Insurance premiums by up to 15%.
    • Stress.
    • Days off due to injury.
    • Less chance of key employees losing their licence.
  • Increase
    • Safety.
    • Profits.
    • Effective / efficient use of vehicles.
    • Public image / reputation.

Advanced driving training

  • Do you offer an advanced driving session or course for your employees?
  • If not could you?

Managers can face criminal prosecution in the event of an employee being involved in a fatal road collision (Corporate Manslaughter & Corporate Homicide Act, 2007)

Take a look at RoSPA’s road safety resources for employers.