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Every day, at least nine Americans die, and hundreds are injured in distracted driving crashes. That’s why April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, an effort to raise awareness of distracted driving risks and encourage individuals to adopt safer, attentive driving habits and to encourage employers to implement policies to so the same.

According to the “2018 Driver Safety Risk Report," issued by Motus, a vehicle management and reimbursement platform, about 40% of motor vehicle accidents are work-related, posing a significant risk to employees who drive for their jobs, but also to others.

The US Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) estimates that motor vehicle crashes cost employers $60 billion annually in medical care, legal expenses, property damage, and lost productivity. Accidents drive up the cost of benefits such as workers' compensation, Social Security, and private health and disability insurance. OSHA offers a Costs of Traffic Crashes to Employers Worksheet to help businesses to better understand the potential cost of work-related accidents and the impact on their bottom lines. Additionally, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) also offers free access to a Crash Cost Calculator. The application helps businesses understand the cost of crashes in by their occupational fleets, in addition to the on- and off-the-job costs of crashes for employees and their dependents.

Surprisingly, despite the high price tag of work-related accidents, only 42.6% of companies currently mandate driver safety programs for employees in company-owned vehicle programs and just 19.5% require them for employees in mileage reimbursement programs, according to Motus report.

In light of these numbers, many organizations, including the National Safety Council (NSC), is taking this opportunity to raise awareness about the true costs of distracted driving and the benefits of implementing safe driving policies, which includes prohibiting employees from using cell phones while driving and a cost-effective safety training program. A sample, useable policy and supporting materials are available through the NSC’s free, downloadable Safe Driving Kit.

Commercial auto insurers are also a good resource for help. For instance, AXA XL helps clients across many industries develop DOT-compliant driver and fleet safety programs and helps them gain access to the National Safety Council’s online defensive driving course.

So, don't get distracted, raising your employees’ attention on this key topic benefits everyone and ultimately your bottom line.


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