In 2019, there were approximately 5 million people involved in motor vehicle crashes that resulted in injury, a number that has stayed mostly consistent over the last five years, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The data looked at varying degrees of injury but did not include fatalities. The data showed rear-end collisions made up the most significant portion of all the injuries overall, which is also one of the most common accident types for fleets.

“In the United States, for example, it is estimated that 3.9 million (rear-end) crashes occur every year. This is the sum of 1.8 million police-reported rear crashes and an estimated 2.1 million unreported rear crashes,” according to the study Preventing Minor Neck Injuries in Rear Crashes—Forty Years of Progress, from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

With that recognized, organizations should understand and prepare for the effects of even more “milder” crash incidents like these.

Common Fleet Driver Injury

Rear-end crashes are one of the most common accident description types for fleet drivers, making up 26% of the crashes that fleets experience, according to data from the CEI Group.

In rear-end crash instances, minor neck injuries, like whiplash, are a common occurrence. Really, any type of vehicle crash is bad for business, but this will be exacerbated if drivers are getting injured.

The average crash costs an employer $16,500. When a worker has an on-the-job crash that results in an injury, the cost to their employer is $74,000, according to Guidelines for Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes.

Since approximately 87% of rear-end collisions involve some form of distracted driving according to NHTSA, it would also benefit your drivers to reiterate the importance of eliminating any distractions on the road and keep an eye out for other drivers who might appear distracted while driving.

Potential Litigation and other Negative Fleet Impacts

But your drivers might not only be the ones on the receiving end of these accident types; your drivers could also be the cause of them if they are the ones being distracted on the road. The CEI group also reported that fleet drivers causing rear-end collisions as another more common accident type for fleets.

If your drivers were the cause of a crash that caused another party to be injured, your fleet could become subject to some more serious levels of litigation to compensate for any harm or damage done. “These injuries are typically short-term and not life-threatening, but some cause long-term suffering and disability,” according to the study Preventing Minor Neck Injuries in Rear Crashes—Forty Years of Progress.

As an example of resulting litigation, a driver for FedEx rear-ended another driver who was stopped at a red light. In subsequent litigation, the plaintiff claimed whiplash and soft tissue injuries to the neck and back but the injuries were comparatively minor. The case was taken to trial and the jury awarded $21,700.

To further exacerbate concerns surrounding this risk, and possibly elevating the seriousness of litigation, another study found that brain injury occurred in 23% of the whiplash cases that were studied in an examination of MRI scans of 1,200 neck pain patients.

At the end of the day, you simply don’t want to have your drivers be involved in these incident types, as motor vehicle crashes cost employers $60 billion annually, not only in medical and legal expenses, but also from property damage and lost productivity, according to Guidelines for Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes.

How Dash Cam Technology Can Help

Fortunately, advances in vehicle safety technology are aiding drivers in reducing the significance and likelihood of risky incidents such as rear-end crashes. Telematics and dash cam technology will further help fleets reduce the negative impacts these incidents have on drivers and vehicles.

Telematics and dash cam solutions will help your fleet in a number of different ways to address the previously mentioned problems:

  • Offer distracted driving and speed alerts
  • Ensure safety compliance through 24/7 driver monitoring
  • Provide on-demand accident footage to contest any false and fraudulent claims

“The speed monitoring is a great feature since it shows how fast the trucks are going along with the posted speed limit for the street they are on,” said an anonymous GPS Trackit customer.

If you’d like to learn more about how GPS Trackit can help to improve safety, increase productivity and reduce costs for your business, speak with one of our knowledgeable Fleet Advisors at 866-320-5810 or get a quick Custom Quote.

References:
https://www.millerandzois.com/fedex-accident-settlement.html
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20357685/
https://www.automotive-fleet.com/10122186/accident-management-survey-crashes-in-parking-situations-remain-a-fleet-safety-p
https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/motor_vehicle_guide.pdf
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-study-finds-whiplash-caused-brain-injury-in-over-20-percent-of-cases-100463704.html