A leading university recently conducted a study regarding fleets that utilize self-employed drivers delivery vans. The study revealed that the accident risks for independent workers under a courier company are higher compared to other drivers. According to the result, drivers that are working for the latest trend known as the gig economy, which means that they are their own boss and using their own vehicles to work for a company, are more likely to experience vehicle crashes than any other drivers on the road.
The said research was conducted by the University College London and report says that a high percentage of self-employed drivers, around 63 per cent, did not undergo safety training in order to know more about road risk and how to prevent becoming a victim of it. Furthermore, 65 per cent of them are not provided with the company with their own standard safety equipment like high visibility vest. In fact, 70 per cent of these self-employed drivers had to purchase their safety equipment from their own pocket.
Aside from self-employed courier drivers, the study also invited participants who are in the driving taxis and ride-sharing economy. There is much resemblance with these workers because their situations are almost the same. With this in mind, many are now questioning the employers regarding their care for the people employed under them.
The bottom line is that, 42 per cent of these drivers admitted that they have been in some form of collision while they are on the road and on duty which results to damages on their vehicles while 10 per cent of them have been injured due to these collisions. A small percentage of the courier drivers, 25 per cent, said that their company actually prioritizes their safety while they are on duty.
According to Heather Ward who is working for Transport Studies in UCL Centre, the result of the study only proves that there is a high demand for workers in the gig economy especially from courier company but it also lead to an increase in risks and road accidents because the workers’ safety is not prioritize. This should be given attention as the number of workers continues to rise and competition is getting stronger.