The study, called Management of Work-Related Road Safety, was prepared for the Health and Safety Executive and Scottish Executive by Entec. Researchers spoke to companies throughout the country to examine their accident records and what steps they had taken to control the risks drivers take on the road.
It confirmed some long-held views about fleet safety, including that younger drivers are a greater risk on the road, while experienced drivers were less likely to crash.
But experts also found a direct link between stress and an increased risk of accidents.
The report said: 'Increased stress was associated with risky driving behaviour and is associated with increased involvement in minor accidents. Organisations can and should monitor any stress caused at work. Stress may also be caused by factors outside work, but supportive management style and culture within an organisation can assist in reducing the impact on performance at work.'
The report recommended companies carry out risk assessments of their drivers and measure the problem, as one in five firms did not know how many accidents they had suffered in the past three years. It then highlights the importance of effective introduction of any policies, with the support of senior management and the need for an audit, to show if policies have been effective or carried out properly.