Half of Brit staffers speed on work-related trips

20 November 2014 -


Survey for Road Safety Week urges bosses to monitor their workers’ speeds to prevent crashes

Jermaine Haughton

Around half of British staffers who drive as part of their jobs admit to speeding while on work-related journeys. To mark Road Safety Week, specialist charity Brake and telematics provider Masternaut conducted a survey of 2,000 workers who get behind the wheel for professional purposes. The survey found that 48% of respondents regularly nudge over speeding limits, while a quarter were more likely to speed in a company car than their own.

Drawing a host of links between speeding, road accidents and the demands of the workplace, the survey report comes in the wake of recent Department of Transport figures which showed that at least 24% of deaths and serious injuries on UK roads during 2013 involved vehicles being driven for work. Other figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) showed that speeding contributes to 14% of all injury-related collisions, 15% of crashes that result in serious injuries and 24% of fatal collisions.

Masternaut chairman and CEO Martin Hiscox stressed that workers’ speeding is a problem that bosses must monitor far more seriously. “We were surprised that people feel that it’s more acceptable to speed for work than pleasure,” he said, “and there’s a serious message about the role of the employer in providing duty of care to their staff and the public at large. Speeding is an issue that employers need to put the brakes on – whether their staff are driving their own vehicles or those provided by the company.”

These latest figures follow a Brake report of last month, which advised bosses on how they can play a significant role in preventing devastating casualties from occurring in the course of their staffers’ work-related journeys. In the report, compiled in partnership with the Licence Bureau, the charity called on bosses to build “safety-first” cultures, by urging drivers to plan their journeys thoroughly, minimise blind spots with the aid of technology and monitor speeds. It also suggested that those cultures should encourage workers to come forward with requests to help them improve their driving education.

Among the findings contained in Brake’s October report, the most startling was that most workers who drive to their jobs don’t have best-practice procedures in mind for protecting cyclists or pedestrians – groups that account for 59% of the UK’s annual toll of road deaths and serious injuries. For example, two-thirds (68%) of employers don’t instruct drivers to slow down to 20mph around schools, homes and shops, while 61% don’t instruct drivers to look twice and check mirrors at junctions for cyclists or motorcyclists.

Worryingly, 80% of driving staffers were found not to use blind spot sensors, and 70% do not use blind spot cameras on large commercial vehicles.

Brake’s senior professional engagement officer Ellie Pearson said: “Employers have a crucial role to play in preventing people on foot and bicycle needlessly losing their lives or suffering terrible injuries. Some are working hard and taking advantage of new technologies to minimise the risks their staff pose when driving on company time. And we know that when employers reduce these risks, they reap benefits like reduced costs and enhanced morale and reputation.”

However, she added, “it is disappointing that many employers are failing to take simple steps to ensure their drivers are doing everything possible to protect pedestrians and cyclists. We’re appealing to all employers with staff who drive for work to get the right policies in place, make use of technologies to address blind spots and speeding, and ensure their drivers understand that protecting people always comes first.”

For more on a whole range of HR management issues, sign up to this 27 November CMI seminar, led by CIPD chief Peter Cheese.

Road Safety Week website.

Masternaut website.

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