Traffic Accidents Continue to Be Sore Spot With Employers

March 15, 2001
Not only do traffic accidents cause damage, pain and suffering, but they are also the leading cause of on-the-job fatalities,\r\naccording to the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).

Not only do traffic accidents cause damage, pain and suffering, but they are also the leading cause of on-the-job fatalities, according to the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).

Each year, on-the-job traffic crashes cause 3,000 deaths and 332,000 injuries and cost employers more than $43 billion, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration.

While costs resulting from vehicular crashes average $22,000 per crash and $110,000 per injury, the ASSE points out that the hidden costs of vehicular accidents are what''s hurting American employers.

These hidden traffic accident costs include:

  • The cost of lost time of the injured worker,
  • Lost time by other employees who stop work out of sympathy or curiosity to assist the injured employee,
  • The cost of time lost by the foreman, supervisor or other executives while assisting the injured employee and investigating the cause of the accident,
  • Arranging for the injured employee''s production/work to be continued by another employee and training that employee, and
  • Incidental expenses, including interference with production, failure to fill orders on time, loss of bonuses, payment of forfeits and the cost of health care personnel time when not covered by insurance.

Because of the widespread impact crashes have on injured employees their co-workers, not to mention an employer''s bottom line, ASSE is urging employers to address the issue by including traffic safety programs within their organizations.

These programs should include guidelines for both on- and off-the-job traffic and motor vehicle operations and conditions.

In addition, ASSE recommends that upper-level management should be directly involved in all safety training programs and on- and off-the-job motor vehicle accident investigations.

ASSE also recommends that analyses of employee accidents, including causes and prevention, and assessments of accident loss costs to both employees and employers be included in all safety programs.

by Melissa Martin

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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