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The True Cost of Motor Vehicle Crashes For Employers

Today's workers compensation defense post will briefly examine several strategies that employers can take in an attempt to limit their exposure to losses (legal, medical and financial) related to employee motor vehicle accidents ...

A landmark study by the United States Centers for Disease Control's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that approximately 13,337 civilian workers were killed in motor vehicle accidents between 1992 and 2001. During this time, motor vehicle accidents were by far the primary cause of death (22 percent), ahead of both falls (10 percent) and homicide (13 percent).

Unfortunately, the figures for serious injuries related to employee motor vehicle accidents were not much better. In the year 2000 alone, benefits for accident victims and lost wages totaled $61 billion, while losses related to workplace absences totaled $4.6 billion.

Given these rather staggering statistics and the fact that little has changed over the past nine years in regard to employer reliance on motor vehicle transportation, what steps (if any) can an employer take to limit their potential losses?

Employers seeking to limit their losses related to employee motor vehicle accidents may consider adopting a company-wide comprehensive safety plan.

The following are just a few examples:

Adopt Uniform Safety Policies

• Require seat belt use by all employees
• Avoid having workers drive past their normal work hours or during odd hours
• Prohibit cell phone use behind the wheel (if not already prohibited by state law)

Provide Safety Programs

• Instruct employees on how to operate any specialized equipment utilized in transportation
• Stress the importance of following safety policies
• Train employees on how to recognize the symptoms of fatigue and the dangers of distracted driving

Create Mechanisms to Review and Evaluate Driver Performance

• Keep current and comprehensive driving performance records of all employees
• Verify driving records of any potential employees
• Make certain that every employee has the appropriate licensure

The following post was for informational purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice. Consider speaking with a dedicated legal professional to learn more.

Stay tuned for further developments in the area of workers' compensation defense law ... 

Related Resources:
• Roadway Crashes Are the Leading Cause of Occupational Fatalities in the U.S. (NIOSH)

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