Work-related road safety - A systematic review of the literature on the effectiveness of interventions TRL

  • Published: Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) 2011
  • Authors: G Grayson and S Helman
  • Date Added: 02 Aug 2013
  • Last Update: 15 Oct 2014
  • Format: pdf


Work-related road safety interventions should focus on issues such as making sure people don’t drive when tired, when under pressure to reach their destination quickly, or when using devices such as mobile phones.

  • Is there enough evidence from high quality evaluations to support a definitive statement about the overall effectiveness of work-related road safety interventions?

  • If not, what levels of effectiveness are suggested by studies using weaker evaluations?

  • In either case, what can be said about the effectiveness of different types of intervention?


The project consisted of two key stages:

  • A systematic review of existing literature about approaches to managing and reducing work-related road risk.

  • A consultation with a range of stakeholders at the beginning and end of the project.

The team at TRL examined the evidence from evaluations of interventions designed to reduce crashes, or to change behaviours and attitudes that are known to be related to collision risk in work-related driving.

The team mainly searched a database system containing some 260,000 items on transport-related research. The researchers selected 63 studies to review, including six earlier literature reviews, which had been conducted between 1999 and 2011.

The researchers next assessed the quality of the studies to ensure that only scientifically sound studies were included - this was to make sure that their conclusions were based only on reliable evidence.

Early in the project, the researchers found that most of the evidence in the literature could not be relied on to be robust. So they decided to expand the scope of the review to cover how the work-related road safety field has developed over time, including what is known about risk factors. In addition, they discussed the limitations of the current literature and how these might be overcome in the future.

Consultation with stakeholders

For the consultation, the researchers identified a list of 30 stakeholders and academics from a number of professions, including:

  • Consultants working in the field of work-related road safety

  • Company fleet representatives

  • Insurance industry representatives

  • Government and policy representatives

  • Fleet organisation representatives.

Half of the stakeholders were directly involved with work-related road safety and feedback was received from 17 of the stakeholders who were approached.

At the start of the project, the team invited a small group of the selected stakeholders to give their views on the proposed definition of work-related road safety, promising interventions and the level of evidence needed to demonstrate whether or not an intervention was effective.

At the end of the project, stakeholders responded to a summary of the literature review. Academics and consultants were asked for general feedback, while other stakeholder groups were also asked to comment on any issues they thought had been missed in the review, and how the messages could be communicated to a wider audience.

Key Findings

  • All respondents in the initial consultation gave multiple examples of the types of intervention they felt had potential, with several of them specifying ‘systems-based’ or ‘multifaceted’ approaches as the most effective.

  • Most of the respondents said that a decrease in accidents or accident severity was a key outcome measure, and many also suggested that evidence of behavioural change would be useful. There was general agreement among stakeholders that the evidence base was weak.


Review, intervention, multifaceted, stakeholders


A review of existing literature and stakeholder consultations provided some ideas.