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Mobility & Transport - Road Safety

Identifying problems and setting goals

Identifying problems and setting goals



Identifying problems and setting goals


Data collection, risk assessment, monitoring and feedback

While data generally exists in countries internationally on the numbers of road traffic crashes and vehicles involved, few countries currently collect information on the proportion involving workers [29][15].

While work-related road crashes are likely to be a very substantial proportion of crashes in most European countries, the absence of data collection and reporting at national level is a major inhibitor of action. In fleet management, there is a general emphasis on counting crashes (particularly "preventable" crashes) and repair costs, rather than injuries. This may be because injury crashes are much less common than property damage crashes [29]. At the same time, it was noted that in 2001, British and Australian data could not identify or quantify the full extent of crashes involving work vehicles since most fall outside national level recording systems, and the link between this type of crash, injuries and fatalities is largely overlooked. Most were relatively minor, damage only, slow speed manoeuvring, costing on average less than A£1,000 (€1,470) and frequently single vehicle. Legal, claims handling, establishing liability/mitigating circumstances and insurance cost minimisation requirements drove crash reporting and recording. Systems typically focused on claim and cost minimisation rather than risk management analysis and investigation [38].

A system for gathering, recording and analysis of information about road incidents and injury crashes is necessary as well as information about driver and vehicle history. Some countries include 'journey purpose' in their national road crash data reporting systems e.g. Britain. It is also possible to conduct linkage studies between different data sets e.g. New South Wales.

Linking data in New South Wales (NSW) on work-related road crashes

In an attempt to learn more about the extent and nature of work-related crashes, the New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) created a dataset linking the NSW crash data covering the period 1996 to 2000 (inclusive) and NSW registration data for the period 31 December 1995 to 30 June 2000. The linkage was made using the vehicle's registration number, which was present in both the registration and crash databases. The registered keeper was the organization or individual on record within the six months immediately preceding the crash (a particular vehicle could therefore appear more than once in the crash database and be registered to different keepers). The data was supplied to a university road accident research group post-matched and de-identified. According to the RTA, the matching process was successful for more than 94% of all crashed NSW-registered vehicles [29].

In several countries, health and safety legislation requires employers to conduct risk assessments for work-related road use and national guidance is provided to assist organizations in this task.

Guidance in risk assessment in Britain (DfT, HSE, 2003)

Five steps in risk assessment

Step 1 - Look for hazards that may result in harm when driving on public roads.

Step 2 - Decide who might be harmed.

Step 3 - Evaluate the risk and decide whether existing precautions are adequate or more should be done.

Step 4 - Record your findings.

Step 5 - Review your assessment and revise it if necessary.

Key considerations in risk assessment

The driver
  • Competency
  • Training
  • Fitness and health
The vehicle
  • Suitability
  • Condition
  • Safety equipment
  • Safety critical information
  • Ergonomic considerations
The journey
  • Routes
  • Scheduling
  • Time
The weather  

Monitoring and review of risk assessments is necessary to ensure that the risks to those who drive, and others, are managed effectively and to take account of changing circumstances. Such a review should seek the views of employees and safety representatives where appointed.


Work-related road safety and national outcome targets

No specific work-related road safety targets have been identified during the course of this review, but several countries foresee activity in this field in outlining their national road safety strategies and targets.

For example, in Sweden the operational strategy of Vision Zero states that public authorities should apply quality assurance principles to work-related travel. "The operational strategy of Vision Zero means that public authorities should, for example, take considerably greater responsibility for the quality assurance of their road transports, official business trips, and trips to and from work, so-called work-related trips from a road safety and environmental point of view. If this is done in an organized way throughout society, there will be significant impact on the road traffic safety within the country" [36].