A third of road deaths and a fifth of serious injuries are sustained in collisions involving a working driver or rider, according to a new University College London (UCL) report.
Of 520 fatalities recorded by the police in 2018 from road collisions involving a working driver/rider, 432 (83 percent) of these were other road users. Working drivers and their passengers accounted for 88 fatalities (17 percent).
Between 2011 and 2018, 39 percent of pedestrians killed in Great Britain were hit by a working driver; someone driving as part of their job, rather than commuting to work.
“Our research shows that people who drive for work pose a serious risk to others, especially pedestrians,” said Professor Nicola Christie, UCL Transport Studies. “This is a worrying situation because of the rise in van traffic and last mile deliveries as we increasingly shop online, particularly since the start of the pandemic.
“There is a clear role for the Government to lead on initiatives to bring the management of risk to the attention of employers and the self-employed, and reduce this burden to individuals and society.”
The researchers from the UCL Centre for Transport Studies and transport safety and behaviour consultants Agilysis estimated that vans each drive around 12,800 miles per year, equating to 15.4 percent of all vehicle mileage. A fifth of these miles (20 percent) are driven on minor urban roads.
The report also highlights that vans and drivers are not subject to the same strict regulation of driver training, restrictions on driving hours and roadworthiness testing as HGVs, buses and coaches.