Sunderland businesses join drive to cut road accidents among employees

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WEARSIDE firms are being urged to back a new drive to cut the number of employees involved in work-related road accidents.

Road Safety GB North East has launched its Driving Down Your Risk campaign in a bid to encourage companies to help protect their staff after it was revealed that motorists are more likely to be involved in a collision with a business driver than a drink-driver.

Between 2008 and 2012, there were three fatal accidents, 63 serious smashes and 871 “slight” collisions in Sunderland.

Almost 21 per cent of total crashes in the city were connected to work-related travel.

Alan Kennedy, Durham County Council road safety manager, said: “We are appealing to both drivers and employers. Motorists need to watch their speed and must give themselves ample time to reach their destinat-

“It is also vital that they drive according to the weather conditions and avoid distractions, such as mobile phones and eating and drinking while on the move.”

The group is also warning firms that they could be prosecuted if they neglect their employer responsibilities.

Between 2008 and 2012, 7,778 people were involved in collisions in the region while they were on a journey for work.

During that period, there were 6,402 collisions involving business travel, which resulted in the death of 74 drivers and riders, the serious injury of 748 people and the slight injury of 8,262.

The figures do not include drivers of public service vehicles.