Learning Zone

Preventing work commute accidents through increased awareness

By Gary Thomas
21 January 2021

Fleet managers focus on accident prevention at work, but accidents during the daily commute should be a concern too

We take a look at what managers can do to help the workforce stay safe



Although employers are not responsible for their staff’s daily commute as it isn’t part of their duty of care. there is a sound business argument for taking an interest. Staff off sick following a commuting accident are missed just as much as those who are absent due to an incident at work.

Statistics recently compiled by AA DriveTech underline the argument for thinking in this way – more employees are killed commuting to work regardless of transport method, than on company business.

For employers concerned about this issue, the following questions can be considered:

  • How much responsibility should we take?
  • How much intervention should we make into journeys where we have no legal obligations?
  • Can we exercise any degree of control over vehicles that we don’t own that are being used outside normal working hours?


What can managers do to prevent accidents to and from work?

Accurate information is always the key to good management decisions with the first step being to gather relevant data. There’s probably very little you can do surrounding public transport but for other commuters, ask questions such as:

  • How far do you travel each day?
  • Which modes of transport do you use?
  • Which routes do you take?
  • How many and what type of accidents have you been involved?
  • What is the roadworthiness of your car, motorcycle or bicycle?

This information can then be used to help identify potential risks or hazards to help support plans to try and prevent them.


Read our blog to discover how to utilise accident statistics to improve fleet safety.


When it comes to preventative measures, modest interventions are often effective. There’s no reason to think that commuting is any different.

For example, AA DriveTech identify three time periods that pose the most risk to commuters:

  • Between 4.30am and 7.00am:  most accidents tend to happen on bends and rural roads
  • Between 7.00am and 9.00am:  T-junctions and urban roads
  • Between 4.00pm and 6.30pm:  30mph zones are accident hotspots

Simply providing commuters with this type of information and ask them to remain vigilant can help prevent an accident.


Using technology to prevent accidents

There are many ways in which accident prevention can be communicated to your staff but one that has proved particularly effective is to automate text messages. These can include reminders to take care on their way to work or home or alert to hazardous road conditions such as seasonal times of the year or current weather conditions. This is, of course, an area where fleet accident software can be used effectively to both carryout actions and monitor their impact.

Similarly, including the topic in staff training manuals, updates and toolbox tasks can be beneficial in raising awareness.

Accident prevention is an area that is too important to ignore and it’s beginning to be mentioned by a small but increasing number of fleet managers. Accident prevention is something that we all need raise awareness of, both inside and outside of the work environment.

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