Construction Today - November 2017 - 7
Is your distracted-driving policy working? BY CONSTRUCTION TODAY STAFF
study conducted by Virginia Tech
Transportation Institute (VTTI)
reveals that nearly 80 percent of
vehicle accidents involve driver
inattention. Although distracted driving is
a common and costly issue, only 27 percent
of businesses have a formal distracted-driving policy. Clearly, companies can do more
to limit this threat to employee safety and
Construction Today recently spoke with
Travelers President of Construction Rick
Keegan and Bob Kreuzer, Travelers' vice
president of construction risk control, who
discussed auto risks in the construction
industry and how businesses can take a
proactive approach to safety.
Construction Today: Why should construction companies take a proactive approach to
auto safety in 2017?
Rick Keegan: One major reason to take a
proactive approach is because auto-related
exposures are one of the biggest risks we
see for construction businesses. With every
vehicle a company puts on the road, its employees, balance sheet and reputation are at
risk. There continues to be an increase in the
frequency and severity of auto accidents, and
for the first time in nearly a decade, auto-related fatalities are on the rise. Early estimates
from the U.S. Department of Transportation
suggest this trend is likely to continue
because the economy has recovered and
the number of miles driven and vehicles
on the road has increased. This coupled
with distractions caused by texting, mobile
apps, GPS, infotainment systems and other
technologies, has all contributed to alarming
auto liability-related trends.
For a contractor, these accidents can
80 percent of car
accidents involve a driver not
paying attention to the road.
be costly, especially considering the impact of rising medical and
legal expenses. If an employee is injured in an auto accident, it also
generates workers compensation exposures. When a business invests
in auto safety, it can have a meaningful impact on mitigating these
exposures and, in turn, have a positive impact on the total cost of risk.
CT: What steps can construction companies take to recruit qualified commercial drivers? Do the needs or skills required of construction-sector drivers differ from general commercial businesses?
Bob Kreuzer: Our risk control professionals work with a variety
of industries, and some of the most successful companies have
NOVEMBER 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM