Unsafe Driving Can Be Costly for Social Service Organizations

Senior man by minibus with wheelchair liftLast month near Hebron, Wis., a bus that was transporting eight individuals to a community rehabilitation program ran off the road and struck a utility pole. All people in the vehicle were wearing seat belts, but one of the passengers died from her injuries three weeks later. The Daily Union reports that the driver admitted to investigators that he fell asleep at the wheel just prior to the crash. While the driver was part of a service used by the organization, if he had been an employee of the organization, the exposure to the company would have been significant.

The statistics related to such on-the-job driving incidents are startling:

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related deaths in the United States, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  • Between 2003 and 2014, 22,000 workers died in work-related motor vehicle crashes.
  • In 2013 alone, such crashes cost U.S. employers $25 billion — $65,000 per non-fatal injury and $671,000 per death.

This is why United Heartland’s third phase of the Social Service Loss Control Campaign examines motor vehicle safety. Because of the potential human and economic impact, it’s important that social service organizations provide attention and training to anyone who may get behind the wheel, even if it’s only an incidental part of their job. A flier and web link to additional information is available to employers as part of this phase. Additional safe driving information can also be obtained through United Heartland’s Road to Safety campaign.

If you know of others involved in the social service or nonprofit industry who may be interested in our campaign, please consider sending them a link to the page or encourage them to subscribe to our free Risk Connection e-newsletters. As always, please contact your loss control representative with questions or if you’re not a United Heartland policyholder, find an agent near you or call us at 1-800-258-2667.