When you’re in business, preventing losses can be just as financially rewarding as generating revenue. But, knowing when, what, and how much to invest to reduce or eliminate those losses can be confusing, particularly when there are competing priorities.
The Traffic Injury Research Foundation has made that decision-making a little easier with its September 2020 report. The report outlines the direct and indirect financial and non-financial benefits of preventing motor vehicle crashes with a particular emphasis on the payback of creating and implementing a distracted driving policy in the workplace.
The report lays out the rationale for emphasising a distracted driving policy by saying: “Distracted driving is a factor in one in four fatal crashes and is one of the most common behaviours that contribute to road crashes…[A]n analysis of fatal crashes involving distracted driving revealed that distracted drivers are more likely to kill other road users as opposed to themselves.”
BC statistics bear out the impact of motor vehicle crashes in this province.
- Almost one-third of traumatic workplace deaths are caused by motor vehicles.1
- In 2019, people injured in motor vehicle crashes while working were off work almost 60 percent longer than people who suffered injuries at work for other reasons (93 days versus 59 days).
- The average cost of a motor vehicle crash claim ($46,517) was more than double the cost of an average WorkSafeBC claim ($21,633).
- Between 2014 and 2018, an average of 76 people were killed due to distracted driving.2
Setting aside the obvious benefits of maintaining a healthy workforce, preventing crashes also means not having to bear the loss of valuable employees -- even temporarily, additional recruitment and training costs, reduced productivity, the expense of clean-up, the increased cost of insurance premiums, and the possible risk of litigation and liability.
Spin-off benefits of implementing a distracted driving policy as part of a larger focus on creating a positive workplace safety culture is improved employee morale and retention along with a greater likelihood employees will also practice their learned safety behaviours while driving on their personal time.
Given the benefits, can your business afford not to have a distracted driving policy?
For help in getting started, see Road Safety at Work’s sample distracted driving policies, FAQs and statistics about distracted driving. For more tips, view the on-demand webinar: Manage distracted driving in your workplace. To understand your own business case, use RSAW’s motor vehicle incident cost calculator to learn how much failing to prevent crashes is costing.