People who drive for a living whether it be taxi drivers, bus drivers, lorry drivers or people using either a company car or their own car etc. for work purposes are at risk of a work accident. This is particularly the case if they are tired, work shifts or are being over worked.
Employers have a duty of care towards all of their employees no matter the size of the business or the role of each employee. When it comes to employees that drive, employers are responsible for managing the risks but that requires more than simply just complying with road traffic legislation.
The Health and Safety Executive says, “There will always be risks associated with driving. Although these cannot be completely controlled, an employer has a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to manage these risks and do everything reasonably practicable to protect people from harm in the same way as they would in the workplace.”
As well as the employer having a responsibility towards caring for their driving employees both physically and mentally as it can be quite a lonely profession being on the road without interacting with other colleagues, it is also the driving employees that are responsible for caring for themselves whilst on the road.
It is up to employees to only drive when fit to do so (and if not, they should consult their employer), plan journeys carefully and take regular breaks to minimise the risk of potential Work Accident Claims that may result from them falling asleep at the wheel.
If you are overwhelmingly tired, it is all too easy to nod off at the wheel, a lapse of concentration for a split second could be fatal not only to the employee driving, but also to other road users.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents provides useful information on driver fatigue and road traffic accidents. Their website warns, “around 150 people are killed or seriously injured every week in crashes involving someone who was driving, riding or otherwise using the road for work purposes.”
Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free consultation for people injured in work accidents. Call freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we will call you to discuss your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.
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