Nearly 7 million motor vehicle crashes were reported in the U.S. in 2018. Rear-end accidents can cause serious harm to people and property, and can result in significant costs for business owners. If your employee is at fault for a collision while on work duty, your business could be held financially responsible – no matter if that employee is driving a company vehicle or their own.
There’s also injury to your employee and workers compensation to consider: Motor vehicle-related workplace injuries can be severe and cost, on average, $78,293 – nearly twice the average cost of all other workplace injuries. Taking measures to improve driver safety is good for your business and your employees.
These guidelines can help reduce the risk of rear-end accidents:
It’s in your best interest to make sure that anyone driving on your company’s behalf is responsible behind the wheel. To find out if your employees are safe drivers, check their Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) when first permitting them to drive on behalf of your company and periodically thereafter. Screen out drivers with poor driving records, discuss any negative MVR findings with your employees, and develop a formal driver safety policy with clear instructions on the type and/or number of violations that will prohibit the employee from driving for your business.
Everyone, including experienced drivers, can benefit from reminders about safe driving practices. Consider implementing a safe driving program for new and current employees that emphasizes these essential practices for minimizing rear-end accidents:
Many new vehicles are now equipped with collision avoidance technology, which can help reduce the risk of many types of accidents, including rear-end collisions. These technologies can alert drivers of potential collisions, lane departures and vehicles in the driver’s blind spot. They can also help the driver maintain a safe following distance and, in some vehicles, the brakes might be applied automatically when the driver has not taken action to avoid an impending crash. Backup cameras can also help prevent crashes when driving in reverse. Drivers should consult their owner’s manual to learn what safety features are present in their vehicles.
Forward-collision warning systems and automatic braking features are particularly effective, reducing rear-end collisions by 50% and rear-end collisions with injuries by 56%.
Consider these and other collision avoidance technologies the next time you add vehicles to your fleet.
Telematics and onboard cameras are other systems to consider for your company-owned vehicles. Telematics use GPS and accelerometer technology to gather information, such as vehicle speed, location and driving behavior – including at-risk speeding, hard braking, mobile device distraction and more. You can use this data to recognize and reward safe drivers, as well as identify drivers whose performance needs improvement.
In the event of a crash, having forward-facing and driver-facing cameras in your vehicles allows you to provide context, showing what happened before and after, and provide video evidence in the event of a claim.
With automobile liability claims increasing in severity, multimillion-dollar settlements have become more common. That’s why it’s important to partner with an experienced insurance carrier. Travelers brings more than 100 years of experience to automobile insurance, and our Claim professionals have specialized, in-depth knowledge of all aspects of auto claims management. Look to Travelers for commercial auto coverage; talk to an independent agent to learn more.
1 Insurance Information Institute, Facts & Statistics: Highway Safety2 National Safety Council, Workers' Compensation Costs by Cause, 2016–20173 National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, Distracted Driving4 Accident Analysis & Prevention. Volume 99, Part A, February 2017, Pages 142-152.5 Insurance Research Council, Trends in Auto Injury Claims, 2019 Edition.