Crash and Casualty Data
Very few organisations operate without using the road. Millions of vehicles - lorries, vans, taxis, buses, emergency service vehicles, company cars, motorcycles, bicycles - are used for work purposes, and many people work on foot on or by the road - maintenance workers, refuse collectors, postal workers, vehicle breakdown employees, the police and so on. All these workers are exposed to risks from traffic.
It is estimated that between one quarter and one third of reported road casualties occur in road accidents involving someone who was driving, riding or otherwise using the road for work purposes.
The HSE estimate that "more than a quarter of all road traffic incidents may involve somebody who is driving as part of their work at the time." 1
In 2016, 529 people were killed, 5,269 seriously injured and almost 40,000 slightly injured in collisions involving a driver or rider driving for work. 2
Since 2006, over 62,000 people have been killed or seriously injured, and over half a million slightly injured in work-related road crashes. 3
Road Casualties 'driving for work' by severity 2006-2016 4
It is not just people who are at work who are killed and injured in work-related road crashes. In fact, other road users are more often killed or injured by at work drivers. In 2016, around 85% of those killed and almost 70% of casualties, in work-related crashes were other road users or passengers of an at-work driver or rider.
Of the 44,048 work-related road casualties, 23,445 were other road users, 7,114 were passengers of an at-work drive, and 13,489 were at-work drivers or riders. Of the 529 people who were killed in work-related road crashes in 2016, 427 were other road users, 18 were passengers of an at-work drive and 84 were at-work drivers or riders.
An analysis of Labour Force Survey (LFS) data estimated that there were around 62,000 non-fatal road traffic crashes involving people when they were working in 2010/11 and 73,000 such crashes in 2011/12. 5
Vulnerable Road Users
The published data does not show how many of the 23,445 other road user casualties in work-related road crashes were pedestrians, pedal cyclists or motorcyclists. However, vulnerable road users are more likely to suffer severe injuries in crashes, and especially so when they are hit by large vehicles. HGVs make up only 5% of British traffic, but are involved in 23% of collisions where a cyclist dies.
The number of work-related road casualties has fallen substantially in recent years, because all road casualties have fallen substantially. However, the proportion of all road casualties that are work-related has not changed. Between 2006 and 2016, almost 30% of road deaths and 22% of serious casualties occurred in accidents involving at least one at-work driver or rider.4
These proportions are similar to RoSPA's initial estimates of in the 1990s of between one quarter and one third of road crashes involving someone who was at work at the time 6, and to the 2001 Dykes Report 7, the first comprehensive review of at-work road accidents, which concluded that "between 25% and 33% of all serious and fatal road traffic incidents involve someone who was at work at the time."
- "Driving at work Managing work-related road safety", HSE (2014)
- "Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2016", Department for Transport, 2017
- "Strategic Review of the Management of Occupational Road Risk", TRL and UCL, 2014
- Table RAS30037 in "Reported Road Casualties Great Britain" reports 2011 - 2016, Department for Transport, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017
- "Worked to Death", Leibling, RAC Foundation, 2013
- Managing Occupational Road Risk - A RoSPA discussion paper, RoSPA, 1996
- "Reducing at-work road traffic incidents - Report to Government and the Health and Safety Commission", (The Dykes Report), 2001