What Do Off-Hours Car Crashes Cost Employers?

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Employee driving behaviors have a direct effect on employer costs.

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety, or NETS, most recent study on the cost of motor vehicle crashes to employers explains just how much employers are paying for their employees’ crashes. In 2013, car crashes killed more than 1,600 people and injured almost 300,000 while they were working. More than half of those injuries caused people to miss work. This results in workplace disruption, lost productivity, and liability and health-care costs.

employer_costsIn 2013, crash injuries on and off the job cost employers $47.4 billion. On hours crash injuries, both fatal and non-fatal, only accounted to 7.5% of all crash injuries. Non-fringe costs set back employers $20.6 billion in 2013. These costs can include property damage, liability insurance, and legal expenses. The remainder of the $47.4 were due to health-fringe benefit costs, totaling to $26.8 billion. Some health-fringe benefit costs include workers’ compensation, health insurance, and sick leave. Of those health-fringe benefit costs, 81% were due to off the job crashes.

Employee driving behaviors have a direct effect on employer costs.

  • Employer cost of crashes in which at least one driver was alcohol impaired: $6 billion
  • Cost of injuries due to people not wearing seat belts: $4.9 billion
  • Crash costs due to distracted driving: $8.2 billion
  • Employer cost of speeding-related crashes: $8.4 billion

Speeding remains the top contributing factor in most crashes, and increases the frequency and severity of crashes. Behind speeding is distracted driving, with nearly half of employer costs associated with employees in off the job crashes. Drinking and driving costs that were on the job were roughly $1 billion, where as off the job expenses were closer to $5 billion. Seat belt use while on the job is much more likely than it is when employees are off the job.

Employer costs stretch beyond the company door.

Employers pay for injuries that occur to their employees and to their dependents both on and off the job. “When people think of the human and financial impact of traffic crashes on the workplace, they think about company car drivers,” said Jack Hanley, executive director of Nets. Contrary to that belief, employers bear the crash costs of all of their employees, not just their company drivers.

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With our roads as dangerous as ever, protecting employees from crash injury can be a profitable investment of time and resources. Driver safety programs are the alternative to reduce health-care expenses to employers without decreasing the benefits offered to employees. In fact, most employees favor wellness programs. The large employer costs due to off hours crashes suggest that employers might profit by implementing programs that have employees spread the message of safer driving back at home.

Defensive driver training programs don’t have to be complicated or expensive, and can reduce collisions up to 63%. Providing a safer work environment is something that is not only common sense, but can be good business sense as well. Results show lower insurance costs, fewer lost man-hours, reduced risk of losing key people, and reduction in corporate liability. Employees are an employer’s most valuable assets. Workplace driver safety programs not only make good business sense, but also are a good employee relations tool, demonstrating that employers care about their employees.

Promoting safe driving practices helps your bottom line.

While you now know how much employers pay for crashes, it is important to also recognize that employers can help prevent tragedy. Recognizing the opportunity that employers have to save lives, a growing number of employers have established traffic safety programs in their companies.

Many employers have yet to take sensible counter measures because the costs of off-hours crashes are carried differently. Nonetheless, these costs are staggering. No organization can afford to ignore a major problem that has such a serious impact on both their personnel and the company budget.

Health and Road Safety can help you reduce costs and risks with an affordable, yet effective driver safety program.

hrs-fb-shop1Greatly reduce the risks faced by your employees and their families while protecting your company’s bottom line.

Implement a driver safety program in the workplace today.

Our course includes four modules:

Speeding
Distractions
Seat Belt Use
Drinking and Driving

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