A new report from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) says employers, national governments and the European Union must step-up efforts to tackle the problem of work-related road risk.

A total of 25,671 lives were lost on the road in the European Union in 2016, according to new analysis of EU road safety data, also published today by ETSC. A large proportion of those were victims of work-related road collisions.

Although the exact number is unknown, based on detailed analysis of data from across Europe, the authors estimate that up to 40% of all road deaths are work-related.

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of ETSC said: “While there are some great examples of large and small organisations across Europe starting to take road safety seriously, there are thousands more that turn a blind eye to the risks their employees take every day on the roads.

“Many companies also wrongly see road risk management as a burden rather than an opportunity. But reducing risks through journey management, targeted training and purchasing safer vehicles can cut insurance costs, lead to less time off and boost a company’s image. While employers need to do more, our report also shows that they need help and support from national governments and the EU to do it.”

Improved data collection is a crucial first step to tackling work-related deaths. 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. This leads to an underestimation of the scale of the problem when neither deaths of third party road users nor commuting deaths are categorised as such.

The authors recommend 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.

View the full report: Tapping the potential for reducing work-related road deaths and injuries