Highest number of drink drivers since 2009

March 26, 2019
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The Department for Transport recently released provisional figures for 2017 that show the highest number of people killed in accidents in Great Britain where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit since 2009. The number of deaths is estimated as being between 240 and 330 people, with a central estimate of 290 deaths.

While any increase in drink drive fatalities is worrying these figures are only provisional and should be approach with a certain degree of caution. A different picture emerges when injuries are taken into consideration, the latest figures show that an estimated 8,660 people were killed or injured in accidents where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit, a fall of 4% from 9,040 the previous year and similar to the level in 2015.

Further the total number of accidents where at least one driver was over the alcohol limit also fell by 6% to 5,730 in 2017. Full details of the provisional figures can be found on the GOV.UK website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/reported-road-casualties-in-great-britain-provisional-estimates-involving-illegal-alcohol-levels-2017

If your organisation has people who drive as part of their work, then it is important that you consider and manage work related road safety issues. If one of your employees is killed or injured while driving for work and there is evidence that management failures contributed to the accident, then you or your organisation could be prosecuted.

A good place to start is by developing and implementing a work related road safety policy (sometime known as an Occupational Road Risk Policy”) this could cover issues such as driver training, vehicle maintenance, journey planning, etc.

Another way of looking at this, is to plan for safe drivers, safe vehicles and safe journeys.  For example, do you regularly check driver licences? Do you provide any specific driver instruction? Do you make sure vehicles are regularly maintained? Do you carry out daily vehicle checks? Do you have procedures for reporting defects? Do you set realistic schedules and take into account road conditions?

Please contact us using [email protected]  if you have any questions.