DATA in the United States predicting a rise in road accidents and costs to business as nations come out of the peak of the pandemic is closely correlated to similar research in the UK.
A report released by Motus, 2021 Driver Safety Report: Returning To The Road, a US automotive data and analysis organisation, is revealing a perfect storm of drivers picking up bad habits from driving on relatively traffic-free roads during the past 12 months coming up against greater density of traffic and drivers who are out of practice and whose driving skills have been eroded.
As our research for this month’s main feature Watch Out For Post Lockdown Fleet Driver Safety Risks revealed, businesses are at risk of multiple impacts from poor driving and accidents. In the UK, the overall mental health deterioration experienced by a majority of drivers working through the lockdowns was highlighted as a major issue. In the US, Motus highlights the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents as distracted driving, speeding and driving under the influence.
Despite covering 13 percent fewer miles in 2020, traffic fatalities rose. Being distracted, especially by electronic devices and in-car was linked to 74 percent of accidents and was the greatest cause of loss of life. The cost to businesses is estimated at $18.8 billion by the US Network of Employers for Traffic Safety. Average speeds in metropolitan areas rose by 22 percent resulting in accidents that cost business $9.8 billion. The overall cost to employers in 2020 was $66,119 per million vehicle miles of travel.
Cost Of Motor Vehicle Crashes To US Employers 2020
Distracted Driving Speed Related Alcohol Use
Cost to employers $18.8 bn $9.8 bn $8 bn
On the job 74% 31% 18%
Off the job 26% 69% 82%
Source: Network of Employers for Traffic Safety
Fleet&Leasing.com is offering a free Driver Mental Health Awareness Guide. This downloadable guide gives practical help to employers and drivers. It will help identify the warning signs, give tips on how to respond along with guidance on providing a working environment that reduces the risk of mental health issues.
Image: Clark Van Der Beken