Does My Organisation Need To Manage Road Risk

The ETSC (European Transport Safety Council) has just published an excellent, two-page infographic that helps business-owners, directors and managers find out:

  1. Whether their organisation needs to manage Road-Risk?
  2. If so, what are the key steps involved in starting a Programme 
  3. What are the attributes of a Safe Driver 
  4. Features of a Safe Organisation
  5. Some key aspects to consider

A PDF version of this ETSC infographic can be found here and you might also want to check out the ETSC's Benefits of Road-Risk Management and our Infographics relating to Road-Risk Preparedness and Hallmarks of Best-Practice Programmes

IOSH Work-Related Road Safety Webinar Live

With driving being one of the most hazardous work activities conducted by a huge percentage of employees, IOSH is hosting a webinar on Work-Related Road Safety, jointly presented by Professor Anne Drummond of UCD and Deirdre Sinnott McFeat of the HSA.

Following on from research which IOSH published last year on fatal road collisions in the Republic of Ireland, it examines the issue and provides advice for employers on how they can ensure their employees are safe on the roads, pointing to important resources which are available.

You can access the webinar here
You can also view more on IOSH’s research here

Why The Indo Article Misses The Point

In my view, last Sunday's article in the Irish Independent completely misses the point of the RSA #Drivingforwork TV ad. The fact is that employers and staff who drive at work actually have JOINT responsibility to show duty of care. 

The reason this ad campaign is happening now is because research shows many employers seem to be unaware of this joint responsibility i.e. they are not or are only in a limited way, managing driving for work.  

Perhaps understandably, they assume there is not much they can do to lower road-risk, aside from checking driver licences (maybe), servicing company-owned vehicles and buying motor insurance.

While it may be a "common sense" view that it is unfair to expect employers to "be there", the fact is that there are many ways an employer can positively influence driving behaviour and outcomes. Technology too is making this easier all the time and insurance companies already incentive proactive risk-management measures by businesses.

The article writer correctly points out that training (i.e. "blanket-training" everyone) can be costly and incidents still happen. This is to be expected.  Driving is a complex activity and training alone can only do so much.

Similarly, asking "how many of those accidents were down to carelessness on the part of the driver, or how many were down to the employer being at fault" suggests a very simplistic view of this risk. We know that some 90% of collisions (the term prerferred by the RSA) are due primarily due to driver error. It is not hard to see how joint fault can occur. For example, when a serious crash happens and the use of mobile device by the employee is deemed to be a contributory factor, it is entirely possible that this may have been actively or passively encouraged by the employer.  In fact, some employers have lost court cases due to not having an appropriate mobile phone policy in place.

So the purpose of this TV ad is to simply "nudge" employers to consider the human consequences of not managing driving and to find out how to make a positive change by visiting 

It is also worth remembering that driving is for many staff, the single biggest risk they face while at work. In fact, driving at work is more risky than driving privately, especially if the employer has a toxic, short-sighted culture. So doesn't it make sense to require all employers to take reasonably practicable steps to positively influence and mitigate this significant risk? After all why should driving be treated differently to other potentially life-changing at-work activities?

As long as an employer takes reasonable steps - preferably a series of steps which can include the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 guidance of "instruction, information, training and supervision" - then not only will the employer be compliant with this Act, they can also reasonably expect to avoid business disruption through less collisions, reduce fuel-use and save on motor insurance.

Granted it may not seem like "common sense", but employers who are proactive about managing road-risk, generally benefit much more than those who don't and the website (among others) showcases some compelling testimonials.

Rather than "wrapping up employees in cotton wool" as the article also suggests, employers need to be aware of both the risks that employees face and create when driving for work and the positive business opportunities that exist to avoid the many negative consequences.

This RSA TV ad does help raise employer awareness and so should be welcomed. Instead, the article seems to challenge the ad on the basis of intuition and bias. A more open-minded, research-based article could have discovered that over-reliance on "common sense" leads to inertia, complacency and loss - the very things which the ad is seeking to avoid.

Author: Ron McNamara

Businesses Fear Staff Using Phones While Driving

More than two-thirds (68%) of UK businesses are concerned their employees are using smart phones access the internet or text while driving for work.

The study by TomTom Telematics also found that 33% of organisations still have not taken steps to prevent employees from using mobile phones while driving, whether through specific policies, training or education.

Beverley Wise, director UK and Ireland at TomTom Telematics, said: "The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called mobile phone use a ‘serious and growing threat to road safety’ and these results further highlight the extent of the problem faced by businesses.

“It’s a problem employers’ must tackle, however, if they are to demonstrate a genuine commitment to the wellbeing of their staff.

“A clear policy on the use of mobile phones should form part of a best practice approach to road safety, but cultural change is also vital.

"Ingrained habits are hard to break but continuous training, education and communication can help to change employees’ mindsets and encourage a greater focus on safe driving.”

The research also revealed that 68% of organisations still allow hands-free use of mobile phones by employees driving for business purposes.

However, studies have shown that talking on a hands-free phone can be as distracting as talking on a hand-held mobile.

Wise added: "Technology such as telematics can also play an important role in helping to identify when employees are driving distracted by continuously monitoring performance. Incidences of harsh steering or braking, for example, might be indicative of greater problems that require attention.”

Source: Fleet News

Arval Avoids Crashes and Saves

Arval, a UK vehicle leasing and fleet management specialist, announced today a new, record low incident ratio of just 14.1% across it's own fleet of 200 vehicles. This compares to a 40% figure for  in 2006 – something that inspired a focus on fleet safety for a decade.

Over the same time period, the number of incidents recorded annually has dropped from 146 to 24 while the total cost of collisions has reduced by three quarters - from £98,970 to £25,900.

Tracey Fuller, engagement manager at Arval, explained: “The 14.1% incident ratio is proof that investing in a sustainable safety programme pays off”. 

Source: Fleet News

NVD Leads With Two International Awards, Case Study

This month, the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) announced the 2017 winners of the PRAISE awards, in recognition of outstanding efforts taken by companies to improve road safety at work.

The large company award goes to National Vehicle Distribution (NVD), a family-owned vehicle transportation and storage company in Ireland. 

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of ETSC said:

“This year’s inspiring award winners demonstrate that road safety of employees is not just a company’s responsibility, it also makes for good business. PRAISE award winners have shown time and again that company-wide road safety programmes reduce insurance and fleet costs, cut employee sick days and improve customer service.

The PRAISE Awards judges said:

“NVD stood out in terms of their holistic approach to driver risk management. They have a huge focus on driver selection, training and ongoing management as well as strong evidence of daily interventions of a deterrent and enforcement nature with drivers to influence behaviour. A proactive company with a focus on safety, they learn from past incidents and find solutions to avoid them in the future. They also have clear performance targets and support positive reinforcement with a bonus system for drivers.”

Niall McNally, Head of IT, Business Analysis & HR at NVD also presented the company's compelling case study at the October series of Driving for Work (#DrivingForWork) seminars, hosted by the HSA, RSA and An Garda Siochana. Niall closed by saying that some benefits accruing to the business from the implementation of their safe driving programme, were simply unplanned!

All of this follows an eventful September which saw NVD pick up a prestigious 2017 Brake Fleet Safety Award in the Company Driver Safety Award category.

Here is a full list of award winners and "highly commended" entries (which includes DriverFocus!)

NVD Wins 2017 Driver Safety Award (Small Fleet Category)

NVD Wins 2017 Driver Safety Award (Small Fleet Category)

Hallmarks of Fleet Risk Management Best-Practice

Whether your business is just starting to manage Driving for Work or you've been proactively doing so for years, we can always learn from others. While every work environment is different, there are common best-practices across all sectors. 

Here's our view on "what good looks like".

These 16 "Lessons Learned" are based on what we've seen in 10 years helping 100 companies create "an environment that allows and expects safe driving".

If you Like it, please Share it - you never know, your nudge might save someone!

Please Support EDWARD On Thursday

EDWARD is "European Day Without A Road Death" - an initiative organised by TISPOL, the Traffic Police Network of Europe. The aim of the day is that no one should lose their lives on the road on Thursday 21st September 2017
Watch this short video to see what it was all about
On average 70 people per day, die on EU roads.
To date 111 people have lost their lives on Irish roads this year.
Think about the risks that you and your family face (and create) for others, when you and they use our roads as a motorist, a passenger, a cyclist, or a pedestrian for leisure or work purposes
Please make the pledge now at :

Lack Of Road Safety Policy Exposes UK Businesses

The study by TomTom Telematics of UK companies whose employees drive for work purposes found more than a fifth (21%) have no road safety policy in place while a further 4% did not actually know whether their organisation had a defined policy.

Yet 60% said staff members had been involved in road traffic collisions while on business duty, with 78% claiming this resulted in lost productivity due to injury or time off work.

The analysis of senior managers at 400 UK businesses also found just 64% have processes in place to profile the risk posed by individual drivers, based on factors such as driving behaviour or previous convictions.

Beverley Wise, director UK & Ireland at TomTom Telematics, said: “Businesses should also be aware that a proactive approach to road safety can deliver further business benefits. By employing technology to monitor driver behaviour and providing drivers with live feedback, supported by targeted coaching and training, it is possible to reduce fuel spend, cut insurance premiums and boost productivity.”

Source: Fleet World

84% of Drivers Admit Using Devices While Driving

The research, which was carried out by IPSOS Mori on behalf of Aviva, found that drivers in Ireland compare badly with our neighbours in the UK with almost half (45%) of Irish drivers admitting to making  phone calls  behind the wheel without a hands-free kit, while in the UK, the equivalent number was 20%. The numbers who report checking their social media while driving in Ireland is also more than double that of the UK (15% v 7%). In this respect, only Italian drivers are worse than Irish drivers among our European counterparts at 17%.

Key findings on driver habits and technology usage:
·         45% of Irish drivers admit making a phone call while driving compared to just 20% in the UK. That figure rises to 63% in the USA and as high as 76% in China.
·         26% of Irish drivers admit sending text messages while driving, compared to 13% in the UK, while Indonesian drivers are the most likely to send a text while driving at 53%.
·         15% of Irish drivers admit checking / posting to social media while driving. The UK had the lowest rate with 7% admitting to this practice, while Indian drivers fared the worst at 41%
·         11% of Irish drivers admit viewing or uploading images to social media while driving. This figure is as low as 4% in the UK and as high as 37% in India.
·         66% of Irish drivers admit choosing music while at the wheel. This figure falls to 45% in Spain while the country with the highest rate for this practice is China at 74%
·         35% of Irish drivers admit entering information into a satnav system while driving. This figure drops to 26% in India and goes up to 52% in Turkey.

Speaking about the findings, Michael Bannon, Underwriting Manager with Aviva Motor Insurance, said: “It is shocking to find that so many drivers are taking such risks, given all that we know about road safety. Just a split second of distraction or lapse in concentration can result in death on the road”.

When it comes to distractions on the road, technology was not the only contributing factor. The research also found that 40% of Irish drivers admit driving while excessively tired compared to 31% in the UK, while 60% of Irish drivers admit to eating or drinking while driving, the highest proportion in Europe. Meanwhile being distracted by passengers, for example, children in the back of the car is a common experience among Irish drivers with 43% reporting it as a difficulty, the highest proportion of any European country in the survey. While the numbers admitting to putting on make-up while driving are small across all countries included in the survey, Ireland emerges as the highest in Europe with 7% confessing to doing their make up behind the wheel. 
“When you get behind the wheel you are responsible not only for your own life but for everyone else you encounter on the road.  With holiday season now well-underway, when families will take to the road for longer journeys than usual, this research should serve as a wake-up call. Put the mobile phones out of reach, set-up your satnav before beginning your journey, stop for a coffee if tiredness is getting the better of you and concentrate on the road.  Driving is among the most hazardous activities we undertake in our lives.  For all our sakes, we need to remember that stark reality at the start of every journey,” advises Michael Bannon.

DriverFocus also supports the HSA's response to the findings from this survey, as employers need to consider how they can help staff Driving for Work and avoid making matters worse.

HSA suggested questions include:
1.   How are you managing the risk of distracted driving for those who drive for work?
2.   Have you covered distraction as a key risk in your driving for work risk assessement?
3.   What does your safety management system say about how to prevent distracted driving?
4.   What more can you do to prevent your employees driving distracted?

Source: Aviva Ireland and 

Up To 40% Of Road Deaths In Europe Work-Related

Employers, national governments and the EU are being urged to take action to tackle work-related road risk, as latest estimates suggest that up to 40% of all road deaths in Europe are work-related.

The analysis of EU road safety data, published today by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), finds that a total of 25,671 lives were lost on the road in the European Union in 2016.

Although the exact number of work-related road (WRR) collisions is unknown, based on detailed analysis of data from across Europe, the authors estimate that up to 40% of all road deaths are work-related. In the UK, DfT figures find that at least one in three (31%) fatal crashes and one in four (26%) serious injury crashes in Britain involve someone driving for work.

In response – and as EU road death figures stagnate – the new ETSC report sets out that employers are essential to tackling road risk but says fleets need help and support from national governments and the EU to take action.

The authors also say that government and public authorities should lead by example and adopt work-related road safety management programmes for their employees and their fleets and include vehicle safety in public procurement requirements.

Another key recomendation for member states is to establish a centralised certification service for suppliers who are in compliance with work-related road risk management legal requirements and have safe work policies.

Ireland, along with France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy and Germany performed best in data collection
and reporting of WWR deaths compared to the 32 countries covered in the report.

Commenting on the report, Jason Wakeford, spokesman for Brake, the UK road safety charity, said: "Reductions in the numbers killed on UK roads have stagnated in recent years. Road deaths fell by just 1.4% between 2010 and 2016 - way short of the EU target. All other EU countries, with the exception of Lithuania, Malta and Sweden, have made better progress and urgent action is needed. It's a disgrace that there are currently no UK targets for reducing the number of road deaths and we are calling for a UK target to be set as a priority for the Government".

Source/Report: European Transport Safety Council (ETSC)

HSA Inspections To Tackle Vehicle Risks At Work

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) will today begin a nationwide work related vehicle safety inspection and information campaign. The campaign will last two weeks and will focus on four key sectors: Transport and Logistics; Wholesale and Retail; Waste and Recycling and Manufacturing.

The purpose of the campaign is to make sure that employers are aware of their legal responsibilities for managing vehicle risks, and to help them reduce the likelihood of accidents occurring.

Over the last 6 years, just under half (45%) of all workplace fatalities have involved vehicles. In the same period nearly one in five (18%) of all non-fatal accidents were vehicle related.

An analysis of HSA accident statistics indicates that the majority of these fatalities occurred during the manoeuvring, reversing or coupling and uncoupling of vehicles. Non-fatal injuries generally occurred during the manual handling of loads or as the result of falls from vehicles.

Deirdre Sinnott, Senior Inspector with the HSA says that the risks can be reduced by focusing on four key areas.

“Firstly, employers should have a vehicle risk management policy that covers all vehicle related activities in the workplace.  This includes not only vehicles operated by employees but also those visiting that need to be managed and controlled. It is also important that procedures are in place to eliminate and control known risks associated with:  driving for work, loading and unloading, deliveries and collections, parking, reversing and manoeuvring. Then safety information, instruction and training should be provided for all employees and finally, a method to record and learn from all incidents or near misses and take corrective action where necessary.”

There are free short on-line courses, aimed at helping employers to manage work related vehicle safety, on the HSA e-learning portal

Also, freely available guidance and resources can be found on the HSA website

ICFM to Hold Road Risk Management Masterclass

ICFM to hold Operational Road Risk Management Masterclass with Focus on cost savings benefits to businesses.

Occupational road risk management is good business practice, but for too many employers it is a ‘tick box compliance exercise’ without a real focus on reducing costs, according to ICFM.

That’s why the organisation dedicated to advancing the profession of car and light commercial fleet management through a range of externally endorsed qualifications, is holding its second Masterclasses – free for both members and non-members – on operational road risk.

Department for Transport data reveals that road crashes in 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available, cost the British economy an estimated £35.55 billion taking into account human costs, lost productivity, medical, ambulance and police costs, insurance and administration and property damage*.

What’s more, with around a third of road traffic collisions involving a person at work, the government-backed Driving for Better Business campaign, has calculated that based on a 10% return on sales, businesses would have to sell £60,000 worth of goods to cover the cost of a £3,000 crash.

ICFM director Peter Eldridge said: “Many fleets introduce measures such as driver licence checking as part of their work-related road safety programmes, but the real focus should be on reducing the cost of crashes.

“Complying with the law is important, but if directors and fleet decision-makers better understood the real-world cost to their businesses of crashes they would take significant action. Improving road safety is about reducing crashes and the associated cost savings will be reflected in company profits. It is easier for businesses to be pro-active in crash prevention than to sell many thousands of pounds worth of additional products.”

Source: ICFM

TSR Report On Technologies To Address Road Risk

In conjunction with World Day for Safety and Health at Work on April 28, Together for Safer Roads (TSR), a coalition of global private sector companies, released the Guidelines for Using Technology to Address Road Safety Challenges report. The comprehensive report outlines how to effectively apply safety technologies, like connected vehicles and infrastructure, autonomous vehicles and features, sensors, telematics and consumer electronics, to fleet operations in order to pave the way to a golden era of road safety.

Globally, between 25 and 33 percent of road crashes are work-related and 36 percent of occupational deaths are due to crashes. As of 2014, there were more than 329 million commercial vehicles on the world’s roads. TSR believes that companies have the responsibility for considering the welfare of their employees, as well as the potential dangers business fleets may pose.

The first step in using technology to address road safety challenges is obtaining support from a company’s highest leadership. Once a company receives leadership’s full commitment, a road safety management team needs to be put into place to develop and implement an action plan. This report provides an overview of the technologies a management team should explore to help reduce road-related risks due to roads and mobility, vehicles, road users, and post-crash response. 

“Fleet drivers crashing at a higher rate than privately registered vehicles demand an urgent and collective response from the business community,” said Greg Martin, chief operating officer and executive director of TSR.

The report is a practical guide that provides companies of all sizes a step-by-step approach to understand and execute the types of technologies available to improve safety. 

To read the full report, go to: Guidelines for Using Technology to Address Road Safety Challenges

Incentives Improve Worplace Road Safety

“This is where incentives can come into play. Incentives provide a means for employee
recognition. Positive reinforcement has been the most widely used component of behaviour

The National Road Safety Partnership Program (NSRPP - Australia) have just published an excellent discussion paper which looks at the effectiveness of incentive measures - recognition, tangible rewards and monetary benefits - to motivate behavioural change among staff who drive for work.

Incentives differ from traditional rewards because benefits are conditional on employees’ future safe driving practices, rather than previous practices.

Specifically, the paper looks at:

  • methods of motivating behavioural change through the hierarchy of human needs

  • the elements of an incentives program within a safe driving program

  • the benefits of an incentives program

  • types of incentives programs currently used by organisations

  • the challenges and considerations that incentives can pose

  • and the importance of safety maturity and a safety culture within an organisation

There is substantial experimental and other evidence to suggest that incentive programs improve workplace road safety. 

Workplace road safety is a prime concern when operating a fleet of vehicles, or relying on employees to operate vehicles, within an organisation. When incidents or crashes occur, employees are at risk of injury and the organisation is at risk of substantial costs, which can include a loss of productivity; the potential for liability; damage to the organisation’s reputation; and expensive insurance claims. Keeping employees, and the public, safe on the roads is a key responsibility of any organisation. One effective way to improve workplace road safety, and motivate behavioural change towards safer driving practices, is to incorporate incentives in safe driving initiatives. This is where a driver’s driving practices are monitored, using various technologies, and those drivers with excellent driving records are recognised and/or rewarded.

This NRSPP paper looks at why incentives can work, current incentives schemes used in the real world, and challenges and considerations in using and implementing them.

The three main types of incentives that have been proven to help promote a safety culture are recognition, tangible rewards and monetary benefits.

Recognition is something many people like to receive, so recognition among peers and seniors can be used as an incentive to promote safer driving practices within a fleet.

Tangible rewards allow fleet drivers to publicly display their achievements in safe driving. Tangible rewards can be letters of commendation, plaques, trophies, prizes form catalogues or permitting drivers to upgrade the model of their vehicle or equipment.

Monetary benefits can be in the form of a cheque, reduced personal use charges, or anything else that provides more kept income to the driver. These monetary benefits can be self-funded from the savings made due to safer driving practices.

Source and further reading: The Power of Incentives in Improving Workplace Road Safety NRSPP (Australia)

Penalty increase for mobile phone use in UK

It has been illegal in the UK to use a hand held mobile phone while driving, or while stopped with the engine on, since December 2003.

As from the 1st March 2017, the penalty for using a hands held mobile device to make a call or send a text message increases for three to six penalty points and a fine from £100 to £200.

There's worldwide evidence that using any sort of phone has a considerable effect on collision risk, and can have a major bearing on whether or not you could be found guilty of careless or dangerous driving.

The THINK! campaign has also produced a variety of downloads to help you share the message of the dangers of using mobile phones whilst driving. These resources also aim to inform all drivers about the tougher handheld mobile phone legislation that is now in effect.

Source: Driving for Better Business

Bad Drivers Spend £560 More On Fuel Each Year

Poor drivers spend 67 per cent more on fuel than the best drivers – amounting to nearly £50 every month

Analysis of driving patterns by Direct Line DrivePlus has revealed that bad driving habits are not only costly in terms of road safety, but they also have a direct impact on drivers’ pockets.  A January 2017 study by one of the UK’s leading providers of telematics insurance policies has estimated that those with the best driving styles will spend an average of £837 per year on fuel, compared to £1,399 for those with the worst – a difference of £562 (67 per cent).
Analysts for Direct Line DrivePlus studied over 319,000 journeys by more than 2,000 drivers during a two month period and found that those with lowest ranking driving habits drive an average of 413 miles between petrol station fill ups, compared to 693 miles for those with the best scores.
Based on the average UK annual mileage of 8,200, those with the lowest scores will have to visit the petrol station around 20 times per year – nearly twice as often as those with the highest rating, who need to fill up only 12 times on average. The table below provides more detail. Drivers are rated on driving habits such as speed, braking and steering, with a score of one being the lowest – reflecting the worst driving habits – and ten being the best.

Bearing in mind that business users are likely to drive twice the average annual mileage of 8,200, the potential savings associated with safer, smoother driving could be up to £1,000 per annum, per fleet vehicle.

Source: Direct Line UK

New Driving for Work TV Ad

Road crashes are a leading cause of worker fatalities. 

The Road Safety Authority, An Garda Síochána and the Health and Safety Authority have launched a new TV-led campaign that highlights the dangers involved in driving for work to both employers and employees.

If an employee is driving for work it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure they are fully qualified, capable and enabled to carry out this work task safely

The advert is shown from the employers view point in the aftermath of a collision, involving an employee, while driving for work. The employers express their regret, sorrow and guilt for not having managed employee risks correctly. 

The core message is simple, if you are driving for work, you’re at work !

Employers are legally required to put safe systems of work in place that support safe driving for work . If not, there could be serious consequences for employers and employees and other road users.

This advert is based on and has been adapted from a successful Canadian campaign run by WorkSafe British Columbia.

The campaign is supported by a digital and a social media campaign.

You can view the advert here

More detailed information and resources on how to manage driving for work  can be downloaded for free from

Please share this post with your business connections who either manage employees who drive for work or who drive for work themselves.

Source: HSA / RSA / An Garda Síochána

IOSH Research - DFW Fatalities Under-reported by up to 90%

Road traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of death globally. They are a matter of serious public health concern and have a significant impact at individual, family, community and population level.

While road traffic fatalities ("RTFs") are reported to the Gardai, the purpose of the journey is not always captured post-collision and this has resulted in unreliable data.  While esimates across several countries, including Ireland, suggest somewhere between a quarter and a half of all RTFs involve someone driving for work, the IOSH research into work-related RTFs ("WR-RTFs") just released also looked at coroners reports.

While the findings were broadly in line with the estimates (23% of the 833 RTF inquest files reviewed involved a worker), in terms of fatality notification through the HSA, WR-RTFs in Ireland have been underestimated by a factor of 1.4 for workers, by a factor of 10 for "Bystander type 1" fatalities - where decedents were not at work, but the other party to the collision was working and work contributed directly to these collisions, ie work was a primary factor. 

Coupled with the fact that total road fatalities in 2016 increased 16pc on 2015, as a society, we urgently need to look at what's being done by everyone involved - individuals, employers, regulators, insurers, media, lawyers and others - to reverse this tragic and unnecessary loss of life.

Source: IOSH