Previously unpublished data from the annual Labour Force Survey carried out by the Office for National Statistics shows that in 2011 an estimated 73,000 people were seriously or slightly hurt in accidents while travelling on company business (excluding commuting).
This is 36% of the total number of 202,000 people recorded injured (but not killed) in all road accidents for that year.
Of those hurt whilst driving in the course of their employment, more than a third (36%) are subsequently off work for more than a week.
The data was analysed for the RAC Foundation and RoadSafe by David Leibling.
According to RoadSafe – which runs the Driving for Better Business campaign – there are approximately three million company cars on the road and some 1 in 3 of these is involved in an accident each year.
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “In most cases people are a company’s most valuable assets. As well as having a moral and legal duty to look after employees, it makes economic sense for firms to protect the wellbeing of staff.
“Road accidents are the biggest cause of accidental death in the work-place.”
Adrian Walsh, who directs the Driving for Better Business campaign, said: “This valuable evidence highlights the importance of the need for good management of those who drive for work, not only can this reduce risk but it can also improve business efficiency. The Driving for Better Business campaign has identified many businesses where there have been significant reductions in collisions and consequent reductions in cost, in some cases amounting to millions of pounds. These businesses are happy to share their know–how.”