With the roadways wet from the rain of April showers, why wouldn’t April be Distracted Driver Awareness Month? Accidents happen. And, unfortunately, with accidents come tragedies. But there are policies companies can implement to protect their employees on the road. Let’s look at some more vehicle accident statistics and explore what companies can do to bring safety to their driving workforce.
Distracted Driver Awareness Month is observed every April with the intent of raising awareness to the dangers of distracted driving. There are four types of distraction that can affect the abilities of a driver: visual, auditory, manual and cognitive. What kind of impact can distracted driving have on the safety of driving employees? Here are five statistics that reflect the concerns of dangerous driving.
The Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT) concludes that fatal automotive accidents are 50% higher in the U.S. than Canada, Australia, Japan and similar Western European countries. That’s a big number to reflect on, but it should be taken with a grain of salt. Considering size of the United States and number of jobs or locations that require a vehicle, more people own cars in America than other countries. As of 2019, the U.S. tops this list of countries that use the most vehicles, with China and Russia trailing in second and third. Even with that grain of salt, 50% is a lot, and accident trends aren’t looking good.
There are a few things to dig into with this NSC estimate. First, due to COVID-19, travel in 2019 and 2020 was way down. An NHTSA study revealed that police reported crashes were down 22% in 2020 compared to 2019. It wasn’t until 2021 that people started traveling near the same amount as pre-pandemic levels. However, as people returned to the road, they did so with a higher amount of risky driving behavior. Risky behavior like speeding and distracted driving. The next statistic shares further insight on this.
The NHTSA released these findings on 2020 annual traffic crash data. This aligns with the revelation that, while the pandemic hampered travel in general, fatal accidents increased. More disturbing is the fact that fatal crashes increased, and those involving speeding by nearly 20%. In Distracted Driver Awareness Month, this statistic drives home the increase in reckless driving, and its deeply felt impact.
Motus revealed this statistic in our 2021 Driver Safety Report. That number is significant and supported by similar findings from the CDC. According to their data, fatal crashes in 2019 cost $56 billion in medical care and work loss. The CDC arrived at this number in 2019. Remember, 2019 saw a drop in vehicle accidents due to the pandemic.
Over the past two years, vehicle accidents have risen. Research also reveals that more than 100,000 workdays are lost due to accidents each year. In many ways, the loss in man hours can be just as devastating–if not more so–than solely financial costs.
In the 2021 WorkAnywhere Benchmark Report, we found that 33% of companies only run MVRs before hiring, while 22% don’t perform MVRs at all. Motor Vehicle Record checks exist to protect both the company and its driving workforce. They’re an essential piece of a comprehensive safety program, yet only 28% of companies running MVRs claimed to use a safety program in the event of multiple MVR violations.
This Distracted Driver Awareness Month, companies can look out for the safety of their driving employees by implementing a comprehensive safety program. There are three essential pieces to a comprehensive safety program. The first is insurance verification. If an employee doesn’t have auto-insurance, they shouldn’t be driving. Insurance verification makes sure that doesn’t happen. The second is motor vehicle record checks. These should be run during the hiring process, and at the very least annually after. The final piece of a comprehensive safety program is individualized training. Training catered specifically to the behaviors of the driving employees taking them are more effective.
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