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Last chance to take part in Young Drivers at Work project

17 December 2008

Employers still have time to take part in major research by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), which is looking into the safety of young people who drive for work. This work is being strongly supported by the Driving for Better Business programme.

RoSPA wants to hear from managers who employ 17-24-year-old drivers for its Young Drivers at Work project – a that study aims to create a better understanding of the safety issues involved in young employees getting behind the wheel.

An online questionnaire has attracted hundreds of responses so far and there is still time for more bosses to take part in the consultation.

The questionnaire can be accessed at www.rospa.com/roadsafety/youngdriversatwork/ until the end of the year and the results of the survey will be made public in March.

Employers are asked to compare the driving styles of young and more experienced drivers, and are also being questioned about how well the present system of learner driver training and testing prepares people to drive for work. The views of young drivers themselves are being sought in focus groups taking place during the project.

Duncan Vernon, RoSPA’s road safety manager for England, said: “We’re already seeing a diverse range of responses from employers, including about the type of at-work driving that young employees do.

“Most employers are identifying reasons why they feel the learner test does or does not adequately prepare young people at work driving, as well as indicating that there are sometimes skills on top of learner training and testing that are needed when at work.

“The responses are also showing the ways employers want the risks associated with young drivers to be managed, and whether a qualification in driving for work could be useful as part of that.”

Young drivers and work-related driving are two of today’s biggest road safety challenges. Figures show that young motorists are more at risk of being killed or injured than more experienced drivers. It is also estimated that one in three crashes involves a vehicle being driven for work. This means that every week, about 200 deaths and serious injuries on Britain’s roads involve someone at work.

Duncan Vernon added: “Some clear trends are emerging through the questionnaire responses, and the final report will not only identify these trends but also help us to find effective ways to prevent accidents involving young motorists.”

Caroline Scurr, Manager of the Driving for Better Business programme, congratulated RoSPA on the work they are doingfor young drivers, especially those who drive for work. She added, “Driving is an essential life skill but too often young drivers are poorly educated to cope with the risks that face them. It is vital to encourage those responsible for educating young drivers to realise their role in reducing death and injury among young people.”