The Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety has been teaming up with companies in the area to launch its new day-long speed awareness course called Driving Skills, aimed at employees who drive to and from work and also on company business. The partnership says research shows Friday evenings are the most dangerous time on the UK's roads. It adds that accident deaths and serious injuries peak dramatically around the 5pm rush hour.
Road safety experts believe motorists temporarily lose concentration as they drive home, because they are making plans for the weekend.
Linda Sanderson, spokeswoman for the Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety, said: 'At 35mph, you are twice as likely to kill someone as you are at 30mph, no matter how good or experienced a driver you are. The fact is that putting your foot down just a fraction means that you need an extra 21 feet to stop, which is all it takes to wipe out a life.'
Companies taking part in the initiative so far include Lytham's Aegon UK, Burnley's Hurel-Hispano, Chorley's Lex Auto Logistics and BAe Systems' plants in Warton and Samlesbury.
Joe Heaney, health and safety business champion at Lex Auto Logistics, said: 'Speed is not only a problem on the roads for employees travelling to and from work, but also once they arrive. We have issues regarding on-site speeding. The site speed limit here is 15mph and I am pleased to say that most colleagues are adhering to this, but there are, however, still a few instances of speeding.'
Driving a vehicle on company business rates among the most hazardous of all vocational activities.
The partnership says that according to Health and Safety Executive figures, 66% of all fleet drivers have an incident every year.
Organisations have a duty of care under health and safety law to ensure the safety of staff and can help achieve this by addressing risk on the road as part of their strategies for managing health and safety at work.