Millions of people drive as part of their jobs. Some are professionally-trained drivers, many are not. Some drive their own vehicles, others drive company-supplied vehicles. If their job is not primarily driving, they often do not receive the same kinds of safety management or engagement in driving safety that others may get. Regardless of the person's work, or how much driving is part of the job, employers need to manage the safety of their employees on the roads, just as they manage other risks in their workplaces.
Start with an understanding of keeping employees safe. We call it the Journey to Safety Excellence. It incorporates leadership and employee engagement, risk management, safety management systems and measurement.
Off-the-job crashes account for 80% of employer crash-related health benefit costs, and half of crash-related injuries cause employees to miss work. According to Injury Facts, the average economic cost due to a crash was more than $1 million per death, and more than $78,000 per nonfatal disabling injury. Employers pay significant costs associated with off-the-job crashes, including decreases in employee, health and well-being, and productivity, and increases in lost time from work and insurance costs.
To prevent motor vehicle crashes involving their employees on and off-the-job, employers should:
- Apply the principles of the Journey to Safety Excellence to employees behind the wheel – on and off the job.
- Engage company leaders and employees to understand the risks employees face while driving, take actions to address the risks and implement measures to track progress.
- Encourage safe driving on and off the job by offering training, including defensive driving courses and other training specific to the risks faced.
- Offer Employer Assistance Programs for employees who might have problems with alcohol, prescription drugs or illegal drugs.
- Enact a corporate cell phone policy to prevent all cell phone use behind the wheel.
- Enact a policy that requires employees to wear seatbelts.
- Ask NSC consultants for expert counsel and advice in assessing your organization's road safety systems, and for help in designing and executing an entire program or some part of it.