Up to 40% of road deaths in Europe are work-related, new research suggests

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Employers, national governments and the EU are being urged to take action to tackle work-related road risk, as latest estimates suggest that up to 40% of all road deaths in Europe are work-related.

Police accident signThe analysis of EU road safety data, published by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), finds that a total of 25,671 lives were lost on the road in the European Union in 2016 and says that as EU road death figures stagnate, employers are essential to tackling road risk.

However, the new ETSC report sets out that fleets need help and support from national governments and the EU to take action on work-related deaths and stresses that improved data collection is a crucial first step to tackling the issue. Police forces in the majority of EU countries do not currently register the purpose of the journey when recording the details of traffic collisions. There is also no standardised EU definition of a work-related road death, resulting in underestimation of the scale of the problem.

The authors also say that government and public authorities should lead by example and adopt work-related road safety management programmes for their employees and their fleets and include vehicle safety in public procurement requirements.

The report is published as Switzerland is named as the winner of the 2017 ETSC Road Safety Performance Index Award for its work to reduce deaths and serious injuries on European roads.

Switzerland registered a 15% drop in road deaths in 2016. Deaths have declined by 34% since 2010, and by 60% since 2001. The country now has the lowest road mortality (26 deaths per million inhabitants) in Europe, together with Norway (last year’s winner).

Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the ETSC, said: “We hope Switzerland’s win sends a positive message to other traditional road safety leaders who have dropped the ball in recent years such as the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.