Two employees who drive for work review a safety checklist before getting behind the wheel. (iStock photo).

Two employees who drive for work review a safety checklist before getting behind the wheel. (iStock photo).

B.C. drivers unaware of risks while driving for work: survey

Road Safety at Work found 84 per cent of respondents believe crashes are unavoidable

Every day, an estimated 2.5 million British Columbians head to work and for many of them, driving is a part of their daily duties. Despite that, a new survey conducted by Road Safety at Work — a WorkSafeBC initiative — found that most people who drive as part of their job have misconceptions about motor vehicle crashes.

According to the survey, 84 per cent of respondents believe that motor vehicle crashes cannot be avoided, but that’s not true.

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“Most motor vehicle crashes are preventable,” says Louise Yako, program director for Road Safety at Work. “Careful planning, training, proper vehicle maintenance, and other proactive measures can reduce the risk and save lives.”

The survey also found that employees who drive were more likely to believe driving is dangerous than their employers — only 11 per cent of employers believe driving is dangerous compared to 26 per cent of drivers.

Many employers believe this because their workers only drive occasionally, do short trips, or only drive on quiet roads,” Yako said. “But crashes happen and people get injured regardless of frequency of driving or length of trips.

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When it comes to road safety, speeding is one of the most common factors in crashes. Despite the danger, only 14 per cent of people who drive for work believe speeding is dangerous. Distracted driving is another large factor, though a majority of survey respondents blamed other drivers for making roads dangerous.

Vehicles used during employment are considered workplaces and employers are legally responsible for the safety of workers who drive on the job. Yako said the number one way to increase safety is to educate employers and drivers about the risks of the road.

“Employer and driver education is key to reducing the number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities,” she adds. “RoadSafetyAtWork.ca offers a variety of practical free tools that can be used by anyone who drives for work and by employers and supervisors at organizations of any size.”

The advice is particularly timely as British Columbians prepare to shift into winter driving, where the chances of being injured or killed in a collision double.

RELATED: Winter tires required on majority of B.C. highways until end of March

The Road Safety at Work survey was conducted in April 2021 by market researcher Majid Khoury. It canvassed B.C. adults aged 18 to 75 who drive for work at least once a week. Respondents included drivers whose job mainly involves driving for work, those who drive for work on a semi-regular basis, and those who occasionally drive for work. The survey margin of error is 3.1 per cent 19 times out of 20.

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