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Road Safety

RSA finds those driving for work are more likely to engage in dangerous driving behaviours

30% of those who drive for work have admitted to nodding off behind the wheel.

ANALYSIS CONDUCTED BY the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has found that those who drive for work are much more likely to engage in dangerous driving behaviours.

Data of traffic collisions shows that between 2018 and 2022, 8% of drivers who were killed and 12% who were seriously injured in collisions were driving for work.

Velma Burns, a Research Manager at the RSA, said those who drive for work are much more likely to engage in dangerous driving behaviours.

The RSA are conducting webinars on “work-related fatigue” and other factors to help drivers and employers create safer driving practices.

Research from 2021 found that those who are driving for work are more likely to speed, drink and drive, drive without a seatbelt and drive while fatigued or tired.

30% of drivers who drive for work have admitted to nodding off or have fallen asleep behind the wheel – compared to 24% of all drivers.

Separate observational research from the same year found the majority of Heavy-Goods Vehicles, or lorries, were driving in excess of speed limits on 100km/h roads.

Deirdre Sinnott McFeat, a Senior Inspector of the Health and Safety Authority said: “Employers should have systems in place to make sure that driving for work activities are road safety compliant.”

She added that those who are self employed or an employer must, by law, manage the risks that may arise when they or an employee of theirs is driving.

As of Monday evening, 168 fatalities have taken place on Irish roads this year – 35 more than 2022. Burns said this research supports the point that more education is needed for employers on the importance safe driving practices.

“Improving driver behaviour when driving for work will help us reduce deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads,” she added.

The RSA’s analysis also revealed that between 2018 and 2022, 23% of drivers involved in fatal collisions were driving for work and 19% of drivers involved in serious injury collisions were driving for work.

Superintendent Tom Murphy of An Garda Síochána said that it is critical that employers prioritise policies to promote safe driving behaviours and that gardaí are “gravely concerned” by the current level of fatalities on Irish roads.

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