Spooky seasons is in full swing. We’re talking pumpkins, ghoulish lawn decorations and perhaps scariest of all, a sudden explosion of pumpkin spice everything. As green turns to brown and nights grow chilly, thoughts turn to the dark and eerie. While murderous antique cars, hitchhiking Rutger Hauer and small-town cults of children may remain safely behind the TV screen, other scares remain all too real. One of the biggest sources of horror and tragedy in our day to day lives is automobile accidents. We’ve shared a step by step guide on what you should do when involved in an accident. In this post we’ll reflect on accident and driver safety trends in the U.S. and what companies can do to mitigate risks and minimize associated costs.
In 2023, there will be a projected 243.4 million licensed drivers on U.S. roadways. This is up from 238.6 million in 2022. Does more drivers mean more accidents? Let’s take a look at the accident statistics gathered thus far in 2023. Bear in mind, government agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Center for Disease Control will conduct studies over multiple years and share data with a fuller picture. Many of these takeaways are from the first few months or roughly half of the year.
Looking at these stats, there’s a lot of positivity. The rate of automotive accidents has decreased year over year not just for the first three months of the year country wide, and for a fifth of states that decline has extended as far as July. Those are good driver safety trends! But, alongside those statistics is the underlying concern: preventable accidents are still occurring.
Outside of the impact this can have on company employees, automotive accidents aren’t cheap. For some companies, that impact is missed time and potential new hires. For others, it can mean lawsuit. Both are costly and neither is ideal. For the safety of their driving employees, to mitigate risk and minimize costs, more companies are making changes.
Driver safety is a tricky thing. Accidents are bound to happen, regardless of safety measures. That doesn’t justify not doing everything possible to create an environment that prioritizes the livelihood of driving employees. Businesses can do this successfully with a comprehensive company driver safety program. What makes a driver safety program “comprehensive”? The pieces that go into it. Let’s start with insurance verification.
One important and often overlooked area of a driver safety program is simply insurance verification. Whether it’s a new hire or a veteran employee, insurance is an essential. In fact, in almost every state it’s illegal to drive without insurance. That doesn’t mean people don’t do it from time to time. More often than not, they simply didn’t realize their policy had lapsed. With insurance verification, your company knows when policies are up for expiration and can get ahead of it before it becomes an issue.
Driver safety is more than knowing whether an employee has insurance or not. Previous driving history can be a great indicator for future performance. That’s why so many companies pull motor vehicle record (MVR) reports on potential employees during the hiring process. One hitch in this practice? Once the employee is hired on, companies no longer pull MVRs. Just like that, they no longer have insight into their employee’s driving performance. Having been caught unawares by a major accident, some companies have opted to have reports pulled annually or, even better, continuously. This isn’t a free service. Costs vary on cadence. For some companies, being alerted of an employee’s concerning pattern of driving behavior is well worth it.
No one wants to have to go through driver safety training. When people hear the term “driver safety training” their minds jump to dusty classrooms and outdated animated videos that deliver simple messages like “don’t forget to use your blinker when turning!” They hear “driver safety training” and they think waste of time and money. But the right driver safety training offers far more than that.
The right driver safety training assesses driver’s abilities on an individual basis, then provides lessons that focus specifically on the areas they need to improve. These lessons have real life examples, not animated visuals, testing awareness and reaction time. And the training isn’t just a half day lost, but a number of reasonably-timed sessions delivered on a regular basis. The results? A pro-active approach to preventing accidents in your company’s mobile workforce.
We’ve gone over the three essentials of a comprehensive driver safety program. We like to refer to it as a “good, better, best” approach. By applying any one of these to your company, you’re putting your employee’s safety first, and that’s good. Making use of all three? That’s best practice. The challenge here is finding a vendor that offers each of these components together. That’s where we come in.
Motus has been in the mileage reimbursement business for years. Seeing the need for a best-in-class driver safety option, we launched our Motus Drive Safe solution. Learn more about Motus Drive Safe today!