Today’s workforce is becoming increasingly mobile as opportunities to work outside of the office increase. Simultaneously, an improved economy and low gasoline prices have resulted in a three percent increase in miles driven in the United States in 2016 relative to 2015. These trends reveal the importance for businesses across the country to provide their workforce with the necessary tools to stay safe while working outside the traditional office space.
The estimated cost of motor-vehicle deaths, injuries, and property damage in 2016 were approximately $432.5 billion—a twelve percent increase from the previous year. Additionally, motor vehicle deaths in 2016 amounted to 40,200 — the highest number of fatalities since 2007. And because employers are responsible for the harm their employees cause if an accident happens within the bounds of the employee’s job duties, employers with mobile workers are well advised to focus on driver safety and reduce driver distraction.
Not only are motor-vehicle crashes physically dangerous — they also cost businesses time and money. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), work-related motor vehicle crashes can cost employers up to $60 billion annually in medical care, property damage, lost productivity and legal expenses. And these crashes typically cause employees (on average) to miss three days of work — translating into a meaningful dip in workforce productivity.
To combat the dangers, costs and legal repercussions associated with motor-vehicle accidents and driver risk, businesses should consider individualized safety programs that take a holistic approach to protecting mobile employees. Such programs typically include safety monitoring and training, risk profiling, data analysis and more.
By providing mobile employees with the tools to drive safely and manage their risk on the road, employers can create a more productive and cost-effective workforce that allows their employees to conduct business and visit clients instead of being out of work for multiple days recovering from an accident.