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Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
October 23, 2008

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Ensuring those wet behind the ears are safe behind the wheel

RoSPA has launched a major study aimed at helping young drivers stay safe while behind the wheel as part of their job.

Funded by the Department for Transport, the Young Drivers at Work project should lead to a better understanding of the safety issues involved in occupational driving activities, such as making deliveries, attending meetings, or travelling between sites.

According to RoSPA, it is estimated that one in three crashes involves a vehicle being driven for work. This means that, every week, about 200 deaths and serious injuries on Britain’s roads involve someone at work.

As part of the project, employers are being asked to compare the driving styles of young (17 to 24-year-olds) and more experienced drivers, including how they assess risks, route planning, fuel efficiency, and awareness of the danger of fatigue. They are also being asked about: policies they have in place; how well the present system of learner-driver training and testing prepares people to drive for work; and whether post-test driver training would be useful in the workplace. Views of young drivers will also be sought via focus groups.

RoSPA road safety manager for England, Duncan Vernon, said: “A range of factors puts young drivers at particular risk, including their lack of experience, their weakness in identifying potential hazards, and some attitudes, such as over-confidence.”

He continued: “The Young Drivers at Work project will help us find effective ways to prevent accidents involving young motorists. The findings will enable us to develop new road-safety resources, and they will also inform the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) as it develops strategies for post-test training for young drivers at work, and lifelong driver development in general.”

Project partners include the DSA, Driving for Better Business, Buckingham County Council, and Lancashire County Council.

A report on the findings will be published in March next year. An employers’ questionnaire can be accessed until December by clicking here

Driving for Better Safety - Free eBook download

This eBook will guide you through some of the key understandings you need to be able to manage driver safety effectively and, at the end, provide a series of free resources you can access to help you ensure your own driver safety management system is robust, legally compliant and in line with industry-accepted good practice.

Download this eBook from Driving for Better Business and SHP to cover:

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  • Safe journeys and fitness to drive;
  • Record keeping;
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  • The business benefits of good practice;
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