It comes as the Health and Safety Executive launches an investigation this month into how many fatal accidents on Britain's roads involve vehicles being driven on business. Working in partnership with Nottingham University, the study will examine police reports from accidents over several years to establish 'concrete facts' about the dangers facing company car drivers.
The Government has shown 'growing concern' at figures it has uncovered which estimate 50,000 fleet drivers a year are involved in crashes. Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions figures suggest a company car driver is 30-50% more likely to be involved in an accident than a private motorist. It is backed by the AA report 'The Great British Motorist 1998' which found drivers of small and lower-medium company cars were most at risk.
In a keynote speech to fleet managers and decision-makers at a Managing Road Safety conference organised by road safety organisation Brake, Lord Whitty said: 'Companies should develop a road safety culture in the same way that they have a culture of safety elsewhere in the workplace. The Government is concerned that company car drivers have a more serious road accident record than other motorists.'