The number of people being killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads is continuing to fall.
Road casualty figures for the first quarter of this year, which have just been released by the Department for Transport (DfT), show that 600 people lost their lives on the roads between January and March.
This still equates to an estimated 200 at-work drivers who lost their lives while driving on company business during the first three months of this year.
According to the road safety charity Brake, approximately a third of road fatalities in Britain are from crashes involving someone who was driving for work.
In addition, the charity points out that company car drivers have about 50% more crashes than ordinary drivers, even after allowing for their higher mileage.
However, the continuing downward trend in road casualty figures reveals that the work fleet managers are doing to ensure the safety of their drivers is paying dividends.
The DfT data, which are obtained from police force records, however fail to clarify whether a crash involved an at-work driver.
This makes it impossible to ascertain if at-work road crashes are falling at a quicker or slower rate than the national average.
During the first quarter of 2005, 740 people were killed on the roads.
Since then, the number of people losing their lives has fallen every year despite the number of vehicles on the road increasing.
During the first quarter of 2006, 697 people died, while during the same period last year 683 were killed.
Now the figure has fallen to 600.
This equates to a 9% fall in fatalities for the 12-month period ending March 2008 compared to the same period ending in March 2007, although the number of pedal cyclists killed or seriously increased by 5%.
Road collisions were also 5% lower, compared with the 12-month period ending March 2007.
The latest figures are encouraging for the government, which set a target of a 40% reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents by 2010.
These latest figures show that it is now just 4% short of that target.
Analysis of the crash statistics show that roads in the Metropolitan and Thames Valley police areas are the most dangerous, accounting for well over half of all the fatal crashes occurring during the first three months of the year.
In parallel with the falling road casualty rates comes news that the latest provisional statistics on accidents involving drinking and driving in Britain last year show that fatalities resulting from drink drive crashes fell by 18%.
There were 560 people killed in 2006 as a result of drink driving crashes.
This figure fell to 460 in 2007, whilst seriously injured casualties fell by 11% from 1,970 to 1,760.
Slight casualties, however, rose by 4% from 11,840 to 12,260.
Total casualties rose by 1% from 14,370 to 14,480.
However, while fatal accidents fell by 16%, there was an overall increase of 2% in drink drive crashes from 9,400 to 9,620.