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IAM Survey - Bosses are Shirking Vehicles Duty of Care

Towards Employees Who Drive For Work

According to a survey for the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists), Seven out of ten say their Bosses neither offer nor require medical check-ups (70%), a driver risk assessment or training (75%), or training on basic vehicle safety checks (75%). And six out of ten (64%) say their employers have not offered or required even a basic eyesight test.

More than half of all employees (53%) who drive as part of their work say they have never received any information or training from their employers about the risks they face while on the road.

The frightening scale of employers' apparent lack of concern for employees who drive as part of their jobs is revealed in a survey of 1000 drivers from across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.The survey was carried out for IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists), the leading organisation dedicated to improving driving standards.

According to the survey, only one in four employers checks that a private car is insured for business use(24%) or, if it is over three years old, that it has a valid MOT (27%). Only just over half (54%) of employers periodically check the validity of their employees' driving licences

It is estimated* that a 1000 people a year are killed while driving for work - nearly a third of all road deaths - and another 13,000 are seriously injured.

Christopher Bullock, IAM Chief Executive, said:

"We are shocked by the scale of these findings. Too many employers think their responsibility for employees when they're at work, ends at the front door or the factory gate. Employers who fail to look after staff who are out on the road risk accidents that can result in employees being killed. Quite apart from being irresponsible, it is bad for their business.

Nearly half of employees admit that pressures from their employer or work lead them to break the speed limit(48%) or lose their temper with other motorists (46%). One in five (20%) admits to using a handheld mobile while driving because of work pressure.

Kym, a 45 year old sales representative from Doncaster told the survey: "I'm very naughty. I have one phone with a hands freekit and another without and have them both on the go at the same time."

Only one in eight (12%) employers is said to have a policy banning the use of mobiles except when stopped. And the survey found that one in four (24%) of employees said their firm had no policy at all on using mobile phones.

Overall, when employees were asked to what extent they thought their employers were concerned about their personal safety on the road whilst driving for work, three out of ten (31%) replied that their employers were not very or not at all concerned.

Christopher Bullock of IAM added:

"We want to work with the Government to tackle this important issue. More employees should recognize the risks they take for their employers, and more employers should recognize where some of the greatest danger to their employees lies."

IAM wrote to the last Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman MP, calling on the Department for Transport to respond to a report from the Motorists' Forum, a government advisory body. The report, when published, recommended that the DfT should provide up to £1.5 million over three years to launch a work-related driving safety programme.

The survey showed some wide variations across the UK including:

  • 7% of people in Scotland say they regularly receive training from their employer about the risks whilst driving for work, compared with 7% in Northern Ireland and 5% in the West Midlands
  • 70% of people in Wales say they're completely aware of their employer's policy on speeding, compared with 27% in the East Midlands
  • 36% of people in Northern Ireland are unaware of their employer's policy on alcohol, compared with 7% in Yorkshire and Humberside
  • 28% of people in the South West have been offered or required to have an eyesight test, compared with 7% in the North East
  • 41% of employers in the North East periodically check for valid MOTs, compared with no employers in Northern Ireland
  • 36% of people in the South West sometimes break the speed limit due to work pressures, compared with 6% in the North East

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