TRL was commissioned in 2001 to carry out research into the question of whether people driving for work-related purposes might be at greater risk than other drivers of being involved in an injury accident. A questionnaire was sent to a sample of drivers of vehicles up to three years old identified from police reports of accidents that involved personal injury. It was also sent to a general sample of drivers of vehicles up to three years old. This included drivers of company-registered vehicles and drivers of privately registered vehicles (both of which may or may not do work-related mileage). This methodology allowed, for the first time, the excess risk of injury accidents arising from work-related driving to be estimated. Previous studies have only been able to estimate the excess liability or work-related drivers to 'all accidents' - which are dominated by damage-only accidents. The results show that car drivers with more than 80 per cent of their annual mileage on work-related journeys had about 50 per cent more injury accidents than other car drivers who were otherwise similar in terms of age, sex and mileage. Drivers whose work-related journeys accounted for 80 per cent or less of their total mileage had, on average, about 13 per cent more accidents than otherwise similar drivers doing no work related mileage. Drivers whose work related journeys accounted for more than 80 per cent of their total mileage differed from other drivers in their responses to a number of behavioural questions. In particular they were more likely to drive when fatigued, under time pressure, and when conducting distracting in-car activities like mobile phone conversations. While such differences will increase the risk of work-related driving and thus help to explain its excess accident liability, in fact the survey was not able to demonstrate this directly. Neither did the survey find the expected associations between accident risk and violational driving behaviour, driving style, or attitudes to driving violations. One possible explanation discussed in the report is that drivers' responses were influenced by their having been recently involved in an injury accident, such that the responses did not give a true picture of behaviour and attitudes as they were before the occurrence of the accident. (A)

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