Your company can save a lot of money (and potentially a life) by investing very little time or money in a safe-driving program.
How? Look into low-cost traffic-safety education tools for employees, such as self-paced CD-ROM courses and Internet-based programs. (See list of resource providers in box at right.)
If you employ many drivers, consider classroom training in defensive driving or even behind-the-wheel instruction.
Key point: Alert your insurance carrier when you start such employee driver training. Reason: Your company may win discounts on auto insurance when workers complete the training.
You could save money by focusing your training efforts only on new em-ployees or those with the most moving violations.
Example: Newport News, Va., officials gave 280 city water department workers a CD-ROM driver safety course. It was followed up by a test drive with an evaluator to show what they learned. Since launching the program, the municipality has driven down vehicle accidents from 58 accidents per year to 27.
Why the extra effort? The average employee traffic accident costs the em-ployer $16,500, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Vehicle accidents continue to rank as the most frequent type of fatal work injury, accounting for 1,372 deaths in 2002 (the latest year for which statistics are available). Accidents account for about a quarter of all fatal work injuries.
Plus, workers' comp claims for accident injuries are the costliest claim, according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance. And employee accidents carry the added costs of lost productivity, repair bills, replacement transportation, substitute labor and higher insurance premiums.