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A study amongst drivers in Northern Ireland to determine the extent of business driving on public roads and the relevance of the activity to compliance and enforcement under the health and safety legislation

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This investigation set out to estimate the percentage of drivers on the public roads for whom driving is part of, but not their main, work activity. Five hundred and seventy nine car drivers passing through selected fuel filling stations were questioned: 43% of these were driving for business purposes at the time and a further 14% said that they did sometimes drive on business. The majority of drivers questioned (56.1%) drive more than 200 business miles per week compared with only 17.7% who drive as many miles for domestic reasons. Of those who are employees, more than 60% were not aware of any policy or instructions from their employers on safe driving and only a quarter had received any form of employee driver training; 21.0% had experienced at least one accident whilst driving on business in the past 5 years. The drivers felt that excessive speed was the main cause of accidents and 61.2% said that they found it necessary to exceed speed limits in the course of their business driving. The discussion includes a consideration of the application of the health and safety laws to business driving on the public roads.
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Keywords: ACCIDENT; CAR DRIVING; ENFORCEMENT; INSTRUCTION; ROAD SAFETY; TRANSPORT; VEHICLES; WORK-PLACE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2000

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