For many Pennsylvania employees, driving company vehicles is part of the job description. However, like other drivers, all employees who must drive are at risk for becoming involved in accidents. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the CDC, estimates that approximately 1,275 workers die in motor vehicle accidents that occur on public roadways every year.
Workers who are at risk for car-related fatalities come from all industries, not just freight-related industries. The CDC notes that workers in freight industries are covered by safety regulations, which have been enacted with the knowledge that these employees are more likely to become involved in accidents than other employees due to the amount of time they spend driving. However, there are no safety regulations for employees who are required to drive company or personal vehicles.
Employers can reduce the risk of their employees causing car accidents while on the job by having certain safety policies in place, which may include reinforcing Pennsylvania traffic laws. However, employers can be even more proactive by ensuring that company vehicles are properly maintained and by tracking drivers’ behaviors. Promoting safe driving also can be beneficial for employers, as crashes are estimated to cost business approximately $60 billion every year, with a single fatality resulting in, on average, $500,000 in damages.
Because motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of fatalities for employees, employers are responsible for ensuring that their workers are protected against the risks as best as possible. An employee who becomes injured in a car accident while performing work-related duties may be eligible to seek workers’ compensation benefits that cover medical costs and lost wages.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Motor Vehicle Safety“, December 20, 2014