While many business owners invest in Workers’ Compensation Insurance to protect their employees while on site, results from a study conducted by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) revealed traffic accidents are a leading cause of high-severity workers’ compensation injuries.
When looking at updated data, risks when behind the wheel varied depending on the type of vehicle being driven. According to the report, the frequency at which incidents involving trucks and fatalities is more comparable to passenger vehicle fatalities. However, the frequency of nonfatal injuries is higher for passenger vehicles.
Thanks to safety improvements to vehicles, the share of nonfatal workplace injuries has decreased since 2006, with the number of traffic-related injuries slipping more than non traffic -related injuries during this period.
When looking at claims for Workers’ Comp, in-office or on-site claims generally result in a single claim, while incidents and accidents involving motor vehicles typically result in multiple claims. Motor vehicles are also more severe in stature when compared to other injuries reported. NCCI noted this is likely because a vehicle accident can result in a range of problems including injuries, while subrogation is also significant.
Business owners who have employees driving vehicles could benefit from investing in additional liability insurance for businesses. When purchasing company cars, it may be helpful to complete research on vehicle safety to minimize potential injuries should the car and employees be involved in an automobile-related on the job.
Some general reasons for traffic accidents include driving when distracted or impaired as well as speeding. NCCI said distracted driving is one of the leading causes or accidents and near accidents, while stressing that employers should promote safe driving practices. Another way to reduce the chances of having to file a claim is to properly screen employees that request or need to commute on company time, as those who have a bad driving record are considered a greater risk to insurance companies.
While many small business owners may be looking to cut costs, especially in the early stages of opening, insurance is one department to avoid cutting corners in. Protecting your company, as well as your employees is important, and state laws require businesses to invest in Workers’ Compensation Insurance that is appropriate for the amount of people employed.