SAFETY specialist the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has produced new guidance recommending ongoing assessment and training for all those responsible for fleets of drivers.
Rospa said that driving is recognised as the most dangerous work activity that most people do, so procedures need to be put in place to ensure that drivers of everything from tippers to vans to company cars are monitored and operate safely.
Kevin Clinton, Rospa's head of road safety, said: 'Studies have shown that drivers of company cars, vans and trucks have a high 'blameworthiness' ratio in their accidents and they have higher levels of risk-taking behaviour.'
The guidance stressed that suitable risk assessments need to be in place to ensure that staff are fit and competent to drive safely and that the vehicles used are fit for purpose. It said that drivers who drive more than 80 per cent of their annual mileage for work journeys had over 50 per cent more accidents than those who do not drive at work.
The report said that all drivers should be assessed at regular intervals and additionally after accidents.
It added that those at the highest risk should be prioritised for further training.
The training suggested ranges from refresher courses to advanced driving tests and specialist tests, along with familiarisation courses for drivers who are new to driving in the UK.
Rospa recommends that the policies are backed up with rewards for accident-free driving and the full reporting of any accidents or driving offences.