Eight per cent of drivers killed were driving for work – analysis shows


Analysis of road traffic collision date conducted by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) shows that between 2018 and 2022 eight per cent of drivers killed and 12 per cent of drivers seriously injured were driving for work.

Driving for work can also pose risks to fellow workers and vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists. The RSA’s analysis also revealed that between 2018 and 2022, 23 per cent of drivers involved in fatal collisions were driving for work and 19 per cent of drivers involved in serious injury collisions were driving for work.

Survey research from the RSA in 2021 found that those who drive for work are more likely to engage in dangerous driving behaviours including speeding, drink-driving, driving while fatigued and not wearing a seatbelt.

92 per cent of drivers who drive for work report regularly wearing a seat belt when driving, compared to 97 per cent of all drivers, for example. 30 per cent of drivers who drive for work have ever fallen asleep or nodded off behind the wheel, compared to 24 per cent of all drivers.

A 2021 observational study also found that 75 per cent of Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers exceeded the speed limit on 100km/h roads (where the speed limit for HGVs is 80km/h) and almost 30 per cent exceeded the speed limit on motorways (where the speed limit for HGVs is 90km/h).

A study of mobile device usage by drivers of various vehicle types, conducted in 2022, found that 9 per cent of HGV drivers observed were using their mobile phone while driving.

Fatalities on Irish roads are the highest they have been in six years. As of 11.59pm on 20 November, there have been 168 fatalities in 2023, 35 more than during the same period in 2022.  Approximately seven in 10 fatalities this year have occurred on rural roads, with a speed limit of 80km/h or greater.

Velma Burns, Research Manager, RSA, said: “Our research has demonstrated that those who drive for work are more likely to engage in dangerous driving behaviours. This is why we need to educate employers on the importance of implementing safe driving for work practices and help educate employees on the importance of safe driving. Improving driver behaviour when driving for work will help us reduce deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads.”

Deirdre Sinnott McFeat, Senior Inspector, Health and Safety Authority, said: “Driving for work involves not only risks for working drivers, but also for fellow workers and other road users. As an employer or self-employed person, you must, by law, manage the risks that may arise when you or your employees drive for work. Employers should have systems in place to make sure that driving for work activities are road safety compliant. Employers can be true leaders in road safety improvements by promoting and influencing safe driving behaviour and actions by their employees.”

Superintendent Tom Murphy, An Garda Síochána said: “As RSA research shows that more than one in five drivers involved in fatal injury collisions are driving for work at the time of the collision, it is critical that employers prioritise policies to promote safe driving behaviours.  An Garda Síochána is gravely concerned as to the current level of fatalities on Irish roads and we are committed to working with all stakeholders in addressing this very concerning trend.”


Comments are closed.