Driving for work is the most dangerous activity most employees ever undertake. There are hundreds of thousands of injuries on the roads every year and literally millions of collisions that result in expensive damage to vehicles and property. Around a third of these are thought to involve drivers who were at work, and almost all are avoidable.
Driving for Better Business is a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of work-related road safety in the business community and public sector by using advocates drawn from these communities to promote the business benefits of managing it effectively.
It was born out of the Government’s response to a report from The Motorists’ Forum that was published in 2005. The study was initiated in response to a request from the Secretary of State for Transport because it appeared that this is an area of road safety which is often overlooked both in workplace health and safety processes and public road safety initiatives.
Indeed surveys suggested at the time that some 79% of companies had not even recognised this as a risk area, and many employers still don’t. Yet it is an area where some organisations have achieved remarkable reductions in collisions, and associated costs, through relatively simple measures.
These organisations are our ‘Business Champions’ and they have agreed to share their inspirational stories with other businesses. Their success in reducing collisions has brought them a range of benefits including lower insurance premiums, improved fuel efficiency, improved reputation and even reductions in recruitment costs due to lower staff churn because they are now better places to work.
The campaign forms the core element of the Highways England business outreach programme, delivered in partnership with RoadSafe and collaborating with a broad range of partners including road safety groups, casualty reduction partnerships, business networks, trade associations, stakeholders, media partners and other relevant commercial organisations to take the business message to employers through a mix of awareness and engagement activities.
Highways England’s Traffic Officer Service, patrolling the motorways in their Black and Yellow incident response vehicles, has to deal with over 40,000 incidents every year. Common incidents include rear-end shunts in heavy traffic, tyre failures, even something as basic as running out of fuel – and happen all too frequently.
Some of these incidents involve business drivers, some don’t, but the one thing they all have in common is the disruption they cause to many hundreds if not thousands more who get held up in the subsequent long delays, and these delays definitely do have an impact on business.
Highways England are implementing a Safe System approach to road safety. They will deliver Safe Roads through a massive investment and improvement programme across the country to raise the standard of infrastructure. Business, in return, can play its part by delivering Safe Vehicles and Safe Drivers through better management.
RoadSafe is a charitable partnership which brings together private sector with government and road safety professionals.
Our mission is to reduce road deaths and injuries by supporting and encouraging partnerships between private sector businesses, traffic engineers, the police, public health authorities and road safety professionals to promote the safe design and use of vehicles and roads by sharing knowledge and encouraging innovation.