November 11, 2020

Saskia Harreman
Head of Knowledge Centre

Despite some progress, a recent report reveals that the number of road deaths is not declining fast enough to meet EU targets. Therefore, better road safety remains a key priority for the European Commission – and fleet operators have an important role to play. To help you implement a fleet safety approach, this blog highlights five measures that make a proven contribution to reducing the number of road accidents, and hence to improving the health and safety of not only employees, but also the wider community.

According to the 14th ETSC Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) report, 22,660 people lost their lives on EU roads in 2019, which represents a 3% reduction compared to 2018. Overall, there has been a 24% reduction in road deaths across the EU countries since 2010, which equates to a 2.7% annual average reduction(i). However, this progress – especially since 2013 – has been too slow to meet the 2020 targets.

To meet the urgent need for strong action, the European Commission has adopted the EU Strategic Action Plan for Road Safety which includes a new target to halve road deaths by 2030 compared to 2020 levels(ii)

With a third of road deaths and a quarter of serious injuries occurring in collisions involving work-related driving (iii), there is no doubt about the importance and value of fleet safety. But how should you set about implementing a fleet safety approach?

The PIN report is a valuable information source when setting up a fleet safety programme. For example, the safety statistics help companies to benchmark their own safety performance. The report also provides an overview of current or soon-to-be-implemented local measures. Besides general measures related to road infrastructure and legislation, there are also some safety tips that can easily be adopted – whether by individual drivers, SMEs operating a small fleet or big companies with more complex fleets.

5 ways to improve road safety

These five measures extracted from the PIN report make a proven contribution to reducing the number of accidents and could therefore be a useful addition to your company’s mobility policy:

  1. A ban on alcohol for new and professional drivers

  2. The compulsory use of lights during the day for motor vehicles

  3. A minimum overtaking distance of 1.5m in town and 2m out of town when motor vehicles are overtaking of pedestrians, cyclists and small electric vehicles

  4. Vehicles over 3.5t must slow down to the so-called walking speed (4-7km/h; max. 11km/h) when turning right (or left in countries that drive on the left)

  5. The use of helmets for all cyclists, irrespective of the type of bicycle

Sources
(i) https://etsc.eu/wp-content/uploads/14-PIN-annual-report-FINAL.pdf
(ii) Also, the UN General Assembly has adopted a new resolution on road safety, co-sponsored by 55 governments. The resolution proclaims the period 2021–2030 as the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety, with a goal of reducing road deaths and serious injuries by at least 50% between 2021 and 2030. The resolution calls for action to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries as a pressing development priority.
(iii) https://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/specialist/knowledge/work/the_problem/work_related_traffic_injury_en#:~:text=More%20recent%20data%20based%20on,course%20of%20work%20%5B9%5D