Findings from new studies show that the financial impact of vehicle crashes go far beyond company drivers and there is a need to step up efforts to promote safe driving habits among all employees:
- Employers bear the crash costs of all their employees, not just their company drivers. In 2013, U.S. traffic crashes, both on and off the job, cost employers $47.4 billion in direct crash-related expenses, which includes medical care, liability, lost productivity, and property damage. On-and off-the-job motor vehicle crashes involving employees or their dependents cost employers more than 1.6 million lost workdays, and 90% happened outside of work, according to the analysis – Network of Employers for Traffic Safety(NETS).
- Drivers 55 and older face double the risk of dying in a work-related motor vehicle crash than younger workers, according to a new fact sheet from NIOSH on how employers and workers can prevent crashes involving older drivers. Among employees 55 and older, crashes make up 32 percent of work-related fatalities. The fact sheet details age-related physical and cognitive changes – such as decreased eyesight, hearing loss and diminished cognitive abilities – that can affect an older worker’s driving and possible accommodations.
- There was a sharp increase in traffic deaths during the first nine months of 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). More than 26,000 people died in traffic crashes in the first nine months of 2015, compared to 23,796 fatalities during the same period of 2014. The estimated increase of more than nine percent following years of gradual declines (more than 22 percent from 2000 to 2014) is a statistical red flag that more needs to be done.
The National Safety Council (NSC) observes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, so it is a good time to begin an education campaign. Free resources include:
- NSC’s 2-Minute Safety Video on Distracted Driving
- NSC’s Infographic, Hands Free is Not Risk Free.
- 2seconds 2click.org. A toolkit developed by NETS that provides materials to launch a 6-week workplace campaign
- NETS also offers The Comprehensive Guide to Road Safety™ for employers with occupational drivers
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