Watch out. If you drive for a living, you're likely to be involved in up to 40pc more collisions
Our RSA expert unveils some startling figures
IN the course of an excellent recent presentation by a member of the Garda Traffic Corps, we were shown two video clips. They were to demonstrate how important it is to secure a load on a trailer.
The first video was from a garda squad car 'dash cam'. It showed a small open trailer piled high with what can only be described as big lumps of waste concrete. It wasn't covered or secured and you could clearly see the danger. If one of those rocks were to fall off in transit . . .
A second video was shown. It was a car travelling on a dual-carriageway (not in Ireland) and hitting, what you can just make out to be, a rock in its path. It caused a blowout of the front right-hand tyre. The car smashed into the crash barrier on the right-hand side, was flipped back into the middle of the road, where it was hit by a truck videoing the whole thing on its 'dash cam'. It then crashed into the barrier in the central median where it finally came to a stop, upside down, a smouldering wreck.
If you want to see the videos for yourself, check out our Facebook page.
Getting back to the unsecured load . . . it raises questions about how seriously road safety is taken by those who are driving as part of their job – and by their employers.
Our own research suggests as many as one-in-three collisions involve those who are driving for work. I'm talking about people who drive for a living, not those who commute to work.
There is no difference between a factory, office or company car, if that's where your workplace is, when it comes to the safety of employees.
But while it's an employer's legal responsibility to manage any risks in the course of work, a study by the RSA, HSA and gardai shows that two-in-three businesses do not provide road safety information to employees who drive as part of their job.
Half the businesses surveyed had no policies or procedures.
If you drive for a living, you are likely to be involved in 30pc to 40pc more collisions than ordinary drivers. So it is vital that businesses understand the importance of providing information. It's also the law.
Many companies say costs are a deterrent. But our experience shows that firms who invest in improving staff safety on the road enjoy a big return – reduced numbers of crashes, reduced maintenance costs and lower insurance.
Think of the company's reputation too. How do you think your customers would react to seeing your branded car or van plastered all over the news after being involved in a high-profile smash?
Some companies who have become experts in workplace road safety have been rewarded for their efforts at national and international level and successfully use this to market themselves.
One such scheme is the European Road Safety Charter, led by the European Commission. To date, more than 2,300 companies have signed up (www.erscharter.eu).
And if you don't want to end up getting pulled over by the Traffic Corps for transporting an unsecured load, I'd recommend the 'Driving for Work' section of the RSA's website.