Driving Home for Christmas

We’d all like to be driving home, and even more so during the holiday season, however, driving is the most dangerous work activity that most people do, and it contributes to far more work-related accidental deaths and serious injuries than all other work activities. 

Unfortunately, workers face and create risks for themselves and everyone else on the road because they are doing their jobs. The HSE estimate that “more than a quarter of all road traffic incidents may involve somebody who is driving as part of their work at the time.”

Employers Responsibilities

Employers need to have policies and procedures in place to ensure that all vehicles (irrespective of who owns them) used for work conform to road traffic law, are safe and properly maintained, and are fit for purpose. This is relatively simple for company owned or leased vehicles, but can be more complicated when staff use their own vehicles for work because the organisation needs to be able to check:

· The vehicle is properly taxed, MOT’d and serviced

· The driver has a valid driving licence and business use insurance cover

· Documentary proof of the above, on request (and at specified intervals)

· The driver conducts regular vehicle safety checks

Employees’ Responsibilities

Employees must co-operate with their employer’s health and safety procedures and follow their rules and policies when using their own vehicle for work.

They must play their part, by ensuring that they are properly licensed and insured to drive for work, fit to drive, plan their journeys safely and comply with road traffic laws when driving.

They need to understand, and follow, the organisation’s driving for work policies and procedures.

They also need to accept that if they drive their own vehicle for work, their employer has the same legal duty to ensure it is safe and legal as they have for company vehicles.

They must also make sure their motor insurance policy includes business use cover, and they have told their insurers that they use the vehicle for work, and how they do so.