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How employers can cut back on car accident risks

Workers who have to drive as part of their jobs run the risk of being injured in car accidents. This goes beyond careers that are focused on driving -- like long-haul trucking -- and includes numerous professions. For instance, construction workers may start the day at the main office and then all drive to the job site, and accidents while they are on the clock may warrant workers' compensation.

To cut back on the risk of accidents, the Occupation Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) suggests that employers have programs focused on safe driving. These can educate drivers, give them incentives and just create a workplace culture that values safety on the road.

The federal safety agency also says that it can help to have any driving policies written out and given to the workers. For example, they could simply be added to the employee handbook that all new workers are required to read.

Now, some employers may be skeptical about spending time and money on these programs, but OSHA points out that the costs from an accident can be significant. They claim that the average accident runs up a bill of $16,500. That's when workers aren't injured. If they are, that cost jumps all the way to an average of $74,000. If a worker is killed, the costs can hit $500,000 or soar even higher.

Remember, if you're injured while driving for work, as part of your duties while on the clock, you may have a right to workers' compensation. Employers can use the tips above to reduce risks, but this won't eliminate all crashes and so workers need to know their legal rights.

Source: OSHA, "Guidelines for Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes," accessed April 19, 2017

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