Work and Commuting related Road Accidents, 2005 & 2006

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1 SB 43/ September 2007 Work and Commuting related Road Accidents, 2005 & 2006 The journey purpose of drivers involved in road traffic accidents has been recorded since Among other categories, this information records whether the driver was making a "journey as part of work" 1 or was "commuting to/from work". Added together, these measure all drivers involved in traffic accidents that were making "work-related journeys". Summary This Bulletin looks at the information collected for Wales in 2005 and In summary, around 15%- 16% of drivers involved in traffic accidents were recorded as having journeys as part of work, another 8%- 9% as commuting. For the remaining three-quarters of drivers, either their journey did not involve workrelated journeys, or the journey purpose was unknown. The original aim of collecting this data was to find out about traffic accidents in the course of work. These can be compared with industrial injuries reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) 2 Traffic casualties arising from accidents where one or more drivers were taking a journey as part of work: Fatal casualties Serious casualties Slight casualties 1,450 1,588 Total casualties 1,574 1,744 Fatalities and injuries reported to the HSE in Wales (that is excluding fatalities and injuries as a result of traffic accidents on the public highway): Fatal injuries to employees 11 8 Fatal injuries to the self-employed 4 5 Major injuries to employees 1,738 1,647 This shows that the level of traffic fatalities in the course of journeys as part of work is at a similar level to other work-related fatalities. Serious casualties arising from traffic accidents are at a lower level than other work-related "major injuries". 1 The main aim of collecting this information was to identify vehicles in road accidents that were on a journey as part of work. This is because the safety of people in the course of work can be considered to be the responsibility of their employers. In order to identify journeys to work accurately, this information also identifies commuting journeys, taking children to and from school; it does not, however, collect any more detail about journey purpose. Where a journey has more than one purpose, the purpose at the time of the accident is relevant. 2.See

2 Risk of accidents for car drivers The section below looks in more detail at work-related accidents involving car drivers. This is because there is no other information about work-related traffic accidents for this group of drivers (even though, as suggested below, these figures may under-estimate the true incidence of these accidents). The Chart below shows, roughly, the degree of risk of a traffic accident for a car driver when making a work-related journey, as compared with other journeys. It looks at traffic accidents involving car drivers on a journey as part of work, or commuting. The Chart compares the proportion of drivers involved in accidents that were on a work-related journey, together with the proportion of driving for work-related purposes (from the National Travel Survey, NTS, averaged over three years ). The sample size limitation of the NTS in Wales means we cannot extend this analysis to look at risk for subgroups (e.g. male/female and by age band) Car drivers in Wales: Travel (average of ) and accidents (average of ): Journeys as part of work and commuting Proportion of car drivers in accidents that were recorded as making: Proportion of trips by car drivers made during year that were: Proportion of distance travelled during year by car drivers that was made in course of: Journeys as part of work A commuting journey to or from work 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Per cent of total It shows that: The risk of accident when making a journey as part of work is higher than other journeys when looked at in terms of risk per trip, and lower when looked at in terms of distance travelled. For journeys as part of work, the trip length averaged around 20 miles; as compared with an average trip length of 9 miles for all car journeys in Wales. The risk of accident when commuting is relatively lower than car journeys for other purposes. The Transport Research Laboratory have investigated the risk for drivers taking a journey as part of work 3. This research suggested that car drivers with high proportion of journeys as part of work have a greater risk of injury accidents than other drivers of similar age, gender, annual mileage and percentage of mileage done on motorways. 3 "Work-related road accidents" by J Broughton, C Baughan, L Smith and G Buckle; TRL report TRL582; first published 2003

3 The reasons for this higher risk are that these drivers will, more often: Drive in situations known to make drivers susceptible to fatigue and drowsiness (e.g. driving on long journeys over 50 miles) after a full day's work. Drive when under time pressure to reach a destination. Drive when conducting potentially distracting in-car tasks such as eating and drinking. Detailed figures The figures below summarises the position with accidents, accidents to drivers on work related journeys and the resulting casualties in Wales during 2005 and Number of traffic accidents in Wales 8,710 8,701 Number of drivers involved in traffic accidents: Total 16,051 16,297 Who were taking a journey as part of work 2,347 2,591 Who were commuting to or from work 1,504 1,328 As percentage of drivers involved in traffic accidents Total 100% 100% Who were taking a journey as part of work 15% 16% Who were commuting to or from work 9% 8% All work-related journeys 24% 24% Number of traffic casualties in Wales 12,733 12,692 Traffic casualties arising from accidents where: One or more drivers were taking a journey as part of work 1,574 1,744 One or more drivers were commuting 1,152 1,009 As percentage of total casualties Total (of fatal plus serious plus slight casualties) 100% 100% One or more drivers were taking a journey as part of work 12% 14% One or more drivers were commuting 9% 8% One of more drivers were making a work-related journey 21% 22% These figures shows that 24% (for both 2005 and 2006) of drivers involved in a traffic accident were undertaking a work-related journey (either a journey as part of work, or commuting). The figures below show how this proportion varies by type of vehicle being driven at the time of the accident: Percentage of drivers involved in traffic accidents, of each type of vehicle below, that were on a work-related journey: Motorcycles 18% 15% Cars 19% 19% Bus or coach 74% 76% Light good vehicle; under 3.5 tonnes 61% 60% Medium goods vehicle; 3.5 to 7.5 tonnes 71% 70% Heavy goods vehicle; 7.5 tonnes and over 85% 80% All drivers 24% 24% Only around three-quarters of bus and coach drivers, and around four-fifths of HGV drivers, involved in traffic accidents were recorded as being on a work-related journey. These are relatively low figures and they suggest that there may be a large number of accidents where the journey purpose of the driver involved is simply not known. It is not possible to identify true level of any undercount from the other information collected about traffic accidents.

4 Commuting It is, however, possible to look in more detail at the relative risk for different groups when commuting. This is shown in the Chart below. It compares: (1) The relative proportion of time spent commuting by different groups of drivers. For example taking all the time spent by car drivers commuting in Wales over a year, 57% of that total was completed by male car drivers, and 43% or that total was carried out by female drivers. This information is based on the Labour Force Survey, which contains information about the time taken to travel to work by mode of travel used. (2) This is compared with the proportion of car drivers that were commuting and had in traffic accidents in each group. For example, of Wales over a year, 57% of drivers involved in commuting-related accidents were male car drivers, and 43% of that total were female drivers Car drivers in Wales: Commuting, and accidents where drivers were commuting to work: By gender and age: 2005 and 2006 together Proportion of car drivers in accidents, who were commuting at the time, who were: Proportion of all commuting travel in Wales by car drivers who were: Male Female Aged under 20 Aged Aged Aged Aged Aged Aged 70+ 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Per cent of total commuting travel and accidents This Chart shows that: The risk for male and female drivers are very similar. However across all types of accident, female drivers are, in general, much less likely to have an accident than male drivers. This result implies that commuting is relatively more risky for female drivers than their journeys for other purposes. The Chart shows that the relative risk of an accident is much higher for younger drivers who are commuting (particularly those aged under 20) compared with drivers aged between 40 and 59. The Chart suggests that older drivers, those aged 60 and over, are at a greater risk of an accident than drivers aged between 40 and 59, though not to the same degree as younger drivers.

5 Accidents by local authority area in Wales The section below looks at work-related accidents by local authority area. This section looks at all work-related accidents, not just those involving car drivers. Accidents involving work-related driving ( average) Cardiff Carmarthenshire Powys Swansea Flintshire Newport Pembrokeshire Wrexham Rhondda Cynon Taf Neath Port Talbot Wales Conwy Bridgend Ceredigion Gwynedd Caerphilly Denbighshire Vale of Glamorgan Journey as part of work Commuting to / from work Monmouthshire Torfaen Merthyr Tydfil Blaenau Gwent Isle of Anglesey Average number of accidents This shows that Cardiff has the highest level of accidents both where the drivers involved was either on a work related journey or was commuting. Merthyr Tydfil had the lowest level of accidents involving commuting, and the Isle of Anglesey the lowest level involving journeys as part of work.

6 It is possible to look at this information in relation to a rough assessment of risk. The Chart below shows the incidence of these accidents per billion vehicle kilometres travelled by motor vehicles in each area. On average there were 142 personal injury accidents involving work-related driving per billion vehicle kilometres travelled during 2005 and 2006: Accidents involving work-related driving ( average) per billion vehicle kilometres Wrexham Ceredigion Pembrokeshire Powys Carmarthenshire Merthyr Tydfil Swansea Flintshire Denbighshire Blaenau Gwent Wales Neath Port Talbot Cardiff Conwy Newport Caerphilly Bridgend Journey as part of work Commuting to / from work Gwynedd Vale of Glamorgan Rhondda Cynon Taf Torfaen Isle of Anglesey Monmouthshire Accidents per billion vehicle km This shows that: Wrexham had the highest average number of personal injury accidents (142) per billion vehicle kilometres where the journey was part of work. Monmouthshire had the lowest average number of personal injury accidents (43) per billion vehicle kilometres where the journey was part of work. Flintshire had the highest average number of personal injury road accidents (106) per billion vehicle kilometres where the journey was for commuting to or from work. This was more than double the Wales average of 52 per billion vehicle kilometres

7 Other findings about accidents involving journeys as part of work: The largest proportion of these accidents occurred within the South Wales police force area, accounting for 36 per cent of all accidents within this category. The largest proportion of fatal or serious accidents occurred in Powys accounting for 16 per cent of all fatal or serious accidents within this category. By far the largest proportion of fatal or serious accidents occurred within the Dyfed Powys police force area, accounting for 42 per cent of all fatal or serious accidents within this category. The largest proportion of these accidents occurred between 08:00 and 08:59 hours, accounting for 13 per cent of all accidents within this category. One-fifth of these accidents occurred on a Friday, accounting for 20 per cent of all accidents within this category. Over half of these accidents occurred on A roads, accounting for 51 per cent of all accidents within this category. More than four-fifths of these accidents occurred in the daylight, accounting for 82 per cent of all accidents within this category. Almost three-quarters of these accidents occurred in fine weather without high winds, accounting for 73 per cent of all accidents within this category. Over three-fifths of these accidents occurred on dry road surfaces, accounting for 62 per cent of all accidents within this category. Other findings about accidents involving commuting: The largest proportion of these accidents occurred in Cardiff accounting for 9 per cent of all accidents within this category The largest proportion of these accidents occurred within the South Wales police force area accounting for 36 per cent of all accidents within this category. The largest proportion of fatal or serious accidents occurred in Powys, accounting for 12 per cent of all fatal or serious accidents within this category. The largest proportion of fatal or serious accidents occurred within the Dyfed Powys police force area, accounting for 32 per cent of all fatal or serious accidents within this category. The largest proportion of these accidents occurred between 17:00 and 17:59 hours, accounting for 18 per cent of all accidents within this category. There were more of these accidents on a Thursday, accounting for 19 per cent of all accidents within this category. One-half of these accidents occurred on A roads, 50 per cent. Over three-quarters of these accidents occurred in the daylight, 75 per cent. Almost three-quarters of these accidents occurred in fine weather without high winds, 70 per cent. Three-fifths of these accidents occurred on dry road surfaces, 61 per cent. Over four-fifths of these accidents involved cars, 86 per cent. Motorcycles accounted for 6 per cent of accidents within this category. They also accounted for 14 per cent of fatal or serious accidents within this category. Male drivers were involved in more than three-fifths of these accidents, 62 per cent. They also accounted for 75 per cent of all fatal or serious accidents within this category. Drivers aged 20 to 29 were involved in 29 per cent of these accidents. They also accounted for 29 per cent of all fatal or serious accidents within this category.

8 Notes The main aim of collecting this information was to identify vehicles in road accidents that were on a journey as part of work. This is because the safety of people in the course of work can be considered to be the responsibility of their employers. In order to identify journeys to work accurately, this information also identifies commuting journeys, taking children to and from school; it does not, however, collect any more detail about journey purpose. For the HSE data: Deaths and "dangerous occurrences" of all employed people and members of the public arising from work activity are reportable to either HSE or the local authorities under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations There are three categories of reportable injury to workers defined under the regulations: fatal, major and over 3-day injury. Examples of major injuries include: fractures (except to fingers, thumbs or toes), amputations, dislocations (of shoulder, hip, knee, spine) and other injuries leading to resuscitation or 24 hour admittance to hospital. Key Quality Information 1. The statistics refer to personal injury accidents on public roads reported to the police and forwarded to the Welsh Assembly Government. 2. The figures are the latest available. It is possible that some of the figures shown in this Release may change in future publications if there are late amendments. Similarly, the figures in this Release for earlier years may differ from those previously published. 3. A more detailed analysis of the 2006 road accident figures will be published in '2006 Road Casualties: Wales', due to be published in December Figures for deaths refer to people killed immediately or who died within 30 days of the accident (excluding confirmed suicides). 5. A casualty is seriously injured if the injuries sustained require that he / she is detained in hospital as an in-patient, or sustains any of the following injuries whether or not detained in hospital: fractures, concussion, internal injuries, crushings, severe cuts and lacerations, severe general shock requiring medical treatment, injuries causing death 30 or more days after the accident. An injured casualty is coded as seriously or slightly injured by the police on the basis of information available within a short time of the accident. Generally this will not include the results of a medical examination, but may include the fact of being detained in hospital, the reasons for which may vary from area to area. 6. A casualty is slightly injured if the injuries sustained are of a minor character such as a sprain, bruise or cut not judged to be severe, or slight shock requiring roadside attention. 7. Only around three-quarters of bus and coach drivers, and around four fifths of HGV drivers, involved in traffic accidents were recorded as being on a work-related journey. These are relatively low figures and they suggest that there may be a large number of accidents where the journey purpose of the driver involved is simply not known. It is not possible to identify true level of any undercount from the other information collected about traffic accidents.

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