Employers have been urged to educate their staff about safe driving after government figures revealed that one in four road deaths involves a driver on work duty.
The Department of Transport figures revealed that 850 people died and more than 6,000 were seriously injured as a result of crashes involving at-work drivers in 2005.
This means 16 people die and 117 are seriously hurt every week in work-related road accidents.
Road safety charity Brake said the figures were a wake-up call to employers to make sure they have risk-management practices in place.
Jools Townsend, Brake head of education, said: “These figures demonstrate how important it is that all employers take the life-savings steps of educating employees about safe driving and effectively managing their road risk.”
Brake provides free training and has produced a DVD featuring interviews with bereaved families for company drivers to watch.
The charity has also called for a law to require companies to report all at-work crashes to the Health and Safety Executive for investigation. Currently, firms only have to report crashes that happen on-site.
Stephen Ladyman, minister of state for transport, said: “The Department of Transport is very much committed to preventing work-related road crashes, and as part of this commitment we are pleased to provide funding to Brake to produce its Busy Enough To Kill DVD.”
Meanwhile, workplace drug and alcohol policy specialist Grendonstar said employers should ensure their staff were in a fit state to drive.
Grendonstar consultant Simon Truelove said: “We are very saddened by the results of this Department of Transport data. We sincerely hope that this will now encourage more employers and employees to consider their suitability to drive or operate machinery at work.”