As part of a campaign calling on the government to introduce road safety education as a compulsory part of the national curriculum, UK companies are also urged to do their bit.
Road safety charity Brake is offering companies free resources including training, information sheets and posters and a hard-hitting DVD called Busy Enough To Kill? featuring interviews with bereaved families to help them protect their young drivers.
Government figures show that in 2005 1,297 people aged between 15 and 25 died and 11,535 were seriously injured on the roads.
Jools Townsend, head of education at Brake, said: ‘Road safety campaigners have suspected for many years that a large proportion of road crashes involve people driving for work.
‘These figures demonstrate how important it is that, firstly, the government takes corporate responsibility for at-work driving seriously and, secondly, all employers take the life-saving steps of educating employees on safe driving and effectively managing their road risk.’
Steve Johnson, spokesman for the Fleet Safety Association, which represents suppliers of training and associated services to business drivers, said training could tackle the inexperience of young drivers.
He said: ‘Many young employees are getting a company car for the first time and it’s like all their birthdays coming at once. It’s crucial that fleet managers think about a hand-over procedure that takes into account the need to curb youthful over-enthusiasm.
‘Young drivers need to be reminded that they are responsible for a valuable company asset that might be fully-funded but it doesn’t give them carte blanche to act irresponsibly.’