If your workers drive on the job, it’s important that you take steps to ensure that they drive safely and don’t engage in dangerous conduct such as speeding. Doing so will not only protect workers from being injured or injuring someone else, but also protect the company from the costs related to traffic accidents.
According to a new report by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), in 2013, US traffic accidents cost employers $47.4 billion in direct crash-related expenses, which includes medical care, liability, lost productivity and property damage.
Specifically, speeding resulted in $8.4 billion in crash-related expenses, with distracted driving close behind, at $8.2 billion. Driving under the influence of alcohol resulted in $6.0 billion in losses and not wearing a seat belt added $4.9 billion to the total.
The NETS study showed that employers could control costs by promoting safe driving habits, including seat belt usage and the elimination of speeding, drunk driving and distracted driving—even when workers aren’t on the clock.
For example, give workers these five tips to avoid speeding:
- Plan your route. Advance planning saves far more time than speeding and you’ll be less likely to feel the need to speed.
- Keep an eye on the odometer. When you do the recommended mirror-sweep every 5-6 seconds, look at the odometer so you can avoid accidental speeding.
- Use cruise control selectively. Set cruise control to a legal, safe speed, taking into account current driving conditions. Using cruise control is NOT recommended for driving on city streets, in heavy traffic, on hilly or curvy roads, or on slippery, wet, snowy or icy roads.
- The music you listen to could influence your speed. Consider a driving playlist or tune in to music designed to reduce stress and help you slow down.
- Consider fuel efficiency. Speeding, rapid acceleration and hard braking can lower fuel economy by 15-30% in highway driving and 10-40% in urban driving.
The OHS Insider has articles, tools and other resources to help you address distracted driving by your employees, including:
- A model distracted driving policy
- Information on the on- and off-site hazards of cell phone use
- A briefing for senior management on liability for workers’ distracted driving on the job
- A model employee-owned vehicle policy
- Spot the Safety Violation: Cell Phones Aren’t the Only Distractions for Drivers.
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