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New study into driving-for-work accidents

Date: 27 October 2010   |   Author:

The Transport Research Laboratory has been commissioned to produce a report into road accidents involving at-work drivers.

Around 200 workers per week are killed or seriously injured in road accidents, a figure that doesn't include commuting mileage, and a third of all road accidents involve an at-work driver, according to Department for Transport figures.

The research will be paid for by the charitable Institute of Occupational Safety and Health's research and development fund, and TRL is looking to examine both the effectiveness of existing road safety measures and the quality of previous research into the issue.

"It is important that we are able to understand the types of intervention that work well in reducing work-related road risk, and those that do not work so well," said Dr Shaun Helman, who is leading the TRL research. "Another issue is identifying where the knowledge gaps are; there may be innovative approaches that show promise, but have not yet been properly tested."

Dr Helman will analyse previous reports and literature on at-work road accidents, as well as talking to stakeholders in the industry. These will include large companies that will have experience of innovations designed to cut at-work road accidents, and trade bodies. Dr Helman hopes the study will be published early next year, and it will cover all vehicle types from cars to HGVs.

"The stakeholders are massively important because they can see what is going on, there are things being done that people think work when they don't, and we want to be able to say categorically based on the evidence, this is what works," Dr Helman told BusinessCar, who said he will also be looking at what types of actions have the most effect, such as driver training or policy changes to increase use of teleconferencing. "If there are gaps in knowledge then we will help, and we'll talk to the stakeholders to align what we write to help the industry," he said.

"It is hoped that the research will provide an independent appraisal of the likely benefits that different types of work-related road safety interventions provide," said IOSH head of research and technical services Dr Luise Vassie. "We hope this work will help policymakers and businesses alike to make informed decisions about work-related road safety."

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