Young Drivers at Work

Young Drivers (aged 17-25 years) are disproportionately represented in road accidents. Scottish figures reveal that they are involved in around 25% of incidents on our roads. The Scottish Government document Road Safety Framework to 2020 has highlighted young drivers as a priority group.

As a commitment to this priority a National Debate on Young Drivers was conducted and the report published in December 2010. The report has made a number of recommendations which are currently under consideration. One recommendation is relevant to young drivers at work, as follows.

"Recommendation 13 (Action): Work with employers to improve the safety of young drivers at work. In particular, we recommend that the Scottish Government:

  • raises awareness amongst employers regarding their role in young driver safety and provide guidance on how they can best perform this role, drawing on RoSPA's Young Driver at Work project
  • raises awareness of the safety, environmental and financial benefits of eco-driving, and use of data recorders in vehicles used to drive for work
  • encourages employers to recognise additional driver training qualifications
  • ensures all tenderers for Scottish Government contracts have a Managing Occupational Road Risk (MORR) policy in place, with a focus on young drivers - the use of MORR policies is a legal requirement so this should not place a high burden on industry - a further recommendation is to measure the quality of such policies in tender evaluation methods so as to sharpen the industry's approach, and
  • holds discussions with the Health and Safety Executive to discuss possible approaches including developing existing HSE Guidance Notes for employers, giving greater emphasis to young driver issues; encouraging risk assessments for young drivers; and application of RIDDOR to young driver collisions."

RoSPA's Young Driver at Work project was cited as an example of good practice within the GB road safety strategic framework.

RoSPA Scotland along with the ScORSA working group are working to develop a strategy to address some of the issues outlined within Recommendation 13.

Click here for RoSPA Advice and Information for Young drivers.

Click on the icons below to publications in relation to young driver safety.

Black Box Technology Final Report

An Innovative Pilot project conducted by the Scottish Government in 2012 to monitor and improve the driving of young driver's at work using telematic devices. The project evaluated the practicalities and effectiveness of employers using telematics to monitor and improve the at-work driving of their young staff. The project was designed to explore the practical issues that employers face when seeking to use telematics, how they were or were not resolved, and how they were able to use the information the technology provides to improve their management of occupational road risk for young drivers at work.

Young Drivers at Work (Scotland) Black Box Pilot

Telematics and Young Drivers

Many employers are using Telematics to monitor the at-work driving of their staff. This technology can significantly reduce crash rates, levels of risky driving behaviours, whilst also impacting on fuel and accident costs. Current research provides little detail of the practical issues employers face in using it, or how to best use the data and feedback for staff to reduce risk and costs.

RoSPA have undertaken a study into the impact and effectiveness of Telematics within a company environment. The research project highlighted a number of operational issues relating to the introduction and use of this technology within the workplace. Our findings can be found within the Young Drivers at Work (Scotland) Black Box Pilot report.

As a result of these findings we have also produced the Using Telematics to Improve Driving for work Safety: A good Practice Guide which gives a step by step guide for existing and potential users of this equipment in the Management of Occupational Road Risk.

Using Telematics to Improve Driving for Work Safety: A Good Practice Guide

Paper on Young Drivers at Work in Scotland.
With funding from the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives, RoSPA has undertaken a piece of work in Scotland which involved interviews with companies based in Scotland that employ young (17 to 25 years) "at work" drivers and focus groups with young drivers in the workplace setting. The findings will help inform future work in Scotland with companies that employ young drivers.

Go Safe DFT Transport Scotland


Risk Assessment Guidance for the Employment of Drivers under 25 years of age

Employment of drivers/riders under 25 years of age

Potential Hazards Possible Control Measures Additional Action Required/comment

New and novice drivers are over represented in road collisions. As road users they are considered a priority group being a greater risk on our roads than other drivers.

Increased risks are due to factors such as inexperience, age, over-confidence, poor hazard perception and attitude.

Young and novice male drivers are the highest risk group.

Young driver accident profile shows that they are more likely to be involved in an accident if they are:

  • Carrying passengers of their own age.
  • Driving in hours of darkness.

These risks are multiplied with the increased risks all drivers face when driving for work, resulting in combined higher risk.

Driving for work is very different from the type of driving young and novice drivers will have experienced. When driving for work, they may be driving for longer periods and distances than they are used to, in unfamiliar vehicles (especially vans) and under scheduling and time constraints.

Within company policy and practice: Consider young driver requirements

  • Such as having a minimum age restriction on staff who drive for work.
  • Restricting vehicle size or type to be used within first few months.
  • Providing vehicle specific assessment and training, especially before they are allowed to drive, for example, vans.
  • Ensure they have the necessary licence categories to drive vehicles other than cars and light vans.
  • Ensuring that they have the necessary licence to permit towing, also that they have training in how to tow.
  • Restricting young drivers to prevent carrying passengers their age or younger, without an experienced colleague being present.
  • Restricting to daylight hours of driving

As part of recruitment consider not simply how long they have held a licence but assess how much on-road driving experience has been undertaken.

Look for additional driving qualifications such as advanced driving.

Provide additional driver training such as driver development or advanced driving.

Ensure employees are familiar with company policy.

Actively engage with young drivers to hear their views on safety issues so that the organisation can learn from them.

Ensure employees feel empowered to question policy as it applies to them, or to raise concerns, without fear of repercussion.

Provide an opportunity for the employee to drive different types of vehicles under supervision.

"Graduate" young drivers into the company as a driver by systematically lifting restrictions.

Conduct specific training/ workshops for peer to peer learning such as RoSPA Young Driver @ Work toolkit.

Monitor young drivers driving records, including violations, accidents and near misses.

Investigate the feasibility and benefits of using telematics (black box) technology.

Ensure managers/ supervisors are aware of the increased risks involved with novice drivers.

Ensure managers/ supervisors are aware that young and new employees may be unwilling to raise concerns, which could keep potential problems hidden.

Ensure managers and supervisors are aware of their responsibilities towards drivers