The business case for driving safety

For employers, it is likely that implementing a strong driving safety program outweighs the cost of NOT having a program in place at all. So many things to consider in the calculation of costs for a motor vehicle accident: wages and productivity, medical expenses, administrative expenses, motor vehicle damage, and employers’ costs which represent the money value of time lost by workers, time spent investigating and reporting injuries, giving first aid, production slowdown, training of replacement personnel, and the extra cost of overtime. Review some of the average costs to employers pertaining to motor vehicle accidents BLR shares below.

According to September 2014 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), fatal transportation incidents were down 10 percent in 2013, but still accounted for about two out of every five fatal work injuries in 2013. Of the 1,740 transportation-related deaths last year, nearly three out of every five (a total of 991) involved motorized land vehicles.

With billions of dollars being diverted to these accidents and their aftermath, we asked Jack Hanley, executive director of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) about the business case for eliminating accidents. He explains that in the past, most businesses would not require an economic analysis in order to approve safety programs or initiatives. “But today, we’re not seeing that automatic OK when it comes to initiatives that will improve road safety,” says Hanley.

Leaders require cost/benefit information. As a result, companies are being forced to develop the rationale for driving safety programs. In some cases, that only happens after the accounting department starts looking into the real cost of repeated accidents, even those that involve only “bent metal” and no personal injury.

At an average company, 20 percent of vehicles will be involved in a crash in any given year, says Hanley. Using the government’s estimate of $16,000 for a no-injury accident, the cost for a business with a fleet of 20 vehicles would be $64,000, assuming that 20 percent, or four vehicles, were involved in a collision.

Business owners are often shocked when they calculate how much product they have to produce to pay for vehicle accidents. But those employers who decide to take safe driving practices seriously not only protect the safety of their workers, but the help to protect their company’s bottom line as well.






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