A recent study by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety made a disturbing finding about how much US Employers are really paying for accidents that involve their employees. In a single year, U.S. employers paid $47.4 billion in accidents costs, which include liability, decreased productivity, property damage and medical charges. Out of these costs, $25.1 billion in crash costs are attributed to incidents that occurred while employed drivers were on the job.
US Employers also lost more than 1,600 employees to vehicle accidents and had about 293,000 injured drivers solely in work-related crashes.
What some fleet managers may not realize is how simple it can be to take preventative measures that effectively reduce fleet risk and liability, either through driver coaching or by using fleet management software. The opportunity to save on healthcare is also abundant in this area.
So which behaviors are driving these accidents? Here are some common bad driving behaviors, as outlined by some studies.
Common Culprits of Bad Driving
Speeding cost US Employers $8.4 billion in 2013
One of the top major violations among fleet drivers is speeding. This isn’t surprising since it’s been found that nearly half of drivers admit to going over 15 miles over the freeway speed limit and 10 miles over the speed limit on a residential street (AAA Foundation).
There is a rhyme and reason behind mandated speed limits. Speeding is a poor driving behavior that increases the chances of accidents because it gives the driver and other surrounding drivers less time to react and prevent collisions.
Speeding is also fuel inefficient and not environmentally friendly. If a driver speeds on a highway at 65mph, it consumes 15% more fuel than a driver going at 55mph. More carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere as a result.
Distracted Driving cost US Employers $8.2 Billion in 2013
Did you know? Distracted driving, which is driving while talking on a cellphone or texting, doubles the risk of being in a car crash. Some shocking statistics demonstrate how common this behavior is, especially as smartphones become more prevalently used statewide.
- 2 in 3 drivers admit to talking on the cellphone while driving within the last 30 days.
- 1 in 3 admit to sending texts while driving within the last 30 days.
Always encourage fleet drivers to put away their cellphones when they’re on the wheel and save it for when they’re not operating their vehicles.
Hard Braking Increases Rear-End Accidents
90% of rear-end accidents are caused by delayed driver reaction, according to the NHTSA. Similar to speeding, hard braking increases the chances of being in a crash because it doesn’t give the driver much time to take a preventative action.
Preventing rear-end accidents is largely preventable if drivers didn’t engage in this behavior.
Not Using a Safety Belt cost US Employers $4.9 Billion in 2013
Wearing a safety seat belt reduces crash-related injuries by half, according to the CDC. Yet not using a safety belt is a behavior that is consistently repeated year after year.
While you would think most drivers would take it to heart to buckle for safety, one reported finding is that 1 in 5 drivers report driving without a seatbelt within the 30 days. Non-seat belt use still cost US Employers $4.9 billion in 2013 as well.
Alcohol Involved Motor Vehicle Crashes cost $6 Billion in 2013
While most of the costs in 2013 were alcohol involved incidents that occurred off the job and included their benefits-eligible dependents, about $1 billion accounted for those that occurred on the job.
Alcohol abuse on the job is intolerable, and should be prevented at all costs. Some things you should evaluate in your safety program to prevent alcohol abuse on the job are:
- Is my business implementing wellness programs such stress management or drug and alcohol abuse prevention?
- Am I monitoring my drivers for any potential drug and alcohol abuse?
- Do I conduct timely reviews of my driver’s record and health?
What you can do about Bad Driving Behavior?
Based on several studies, there are many behaviors that contribute to the high cost of vehicle accidents. But there are several ways to go about reducing bad driving in your fleet company.
- Let your Drivers Modify their own Behaviors with Personalized Coaching & Real-Time Feedback
One thing you can do is implement a driver coaching program with fleet management software.
While some fleet management software can only pinpoint speeds of your fleet vehicles, our fleet management software is able to provide real-time feedback on driving behaviors for you and your drivers. Give your drivers the tools (such as mobile or sound alerts) to self-manage their driving behavior.
- Generate Behavior Trend Reporting
Get valuable data insight into your drivers’ behaviors from fleet management software. With fleet management software, you’ll be able to receive automated reports that analyze patterns and risks for every fleet driver. With detailed reports, you’ll be able to see which vehicles are speeding and hard accelerating the most and pinpoint when and what kind of behaviors your drivers are engaging in.
Want to learn more about how you can improve driver safety in your fleet business? Subscribe to our blog for tips and best practices on fleet management. Or schedule a free demo with us today and call 800.557.1449.