In British Columbia recently, a horse and buggy driver received a simple citation for texting while conducting a tour down city streets. Distracted driving really can happen anywhere.
But while all distracted driving is dangerous, some distracted driving is more dangerous and therefore more costly to those involved. Such is the case for transportation businesses like your own.
Last year, work-related crashes cost owners nearly $57,000,000,000. Yes, that’s billion. 26% of this can be directly connected to driver distraction.
What contributes to this enormous price tag? Let’s take a look!
The costs of distracted driving for your trucking business
Medical expenses can vary widely. When someone is injured on the job, you’re often responsible for medical bills paid through worker’s comp or your trucking insurance.
Depending on the severity of an accident, costs can be in the tens of thousands. That’s just another reason it’s so important to keep your trucking insurance policy up-to-date.
Another cost of distracted driving for fleet owners is downtime. You’re down a truck and probably a driver. You’ve got to do some serious shuffling of the trucks you still have in service to meet deadlines. Or you’ll have the expense of a rental, which typically runs over $200 a day, depending on your needs.
Repairs & Replacement
The average annual repair and maintenance costs for a big rig are $15,000. But this cost goes way up when a truck is in an accident. You’re usually looking at a one-time expense in the area of $10,000 or more. And if the cab is totaled, you’re looking at as much as $200,000 to replace it.
Fines & Lawsuits
An employer can be required to pay up to $11 thousand per incident if they at not taking proper steps to keep prevent distracted driving and texting and driving. In addition, an owner may face lawsuits and investigations related to fleet management. (And the FMCSA has banned handheld cell phone use for commercial vehicle drivers.)
Yet, according to Fleet Owner Magazine, only 42% of trucking companies require their drivers to complete safety training. For companies that work with independent drivers, the rate drops to 19%.
A good training program will cost a company less than one max fine per year and should be in place to prevent these costs.
Increased Insurance Premiums
Increased premiums are always a factor. If an insurance company sees your company as a great risk because of a history of distracted driving, premiums will go up.
Hiring & Re-Training
The National Security Council estimates that these accidents cost employers on average $70,000 per accident. But to add insult to injury, after an accident you have to make a tough choice. Do you keep a driver who had an accident while distracted?
If it’s a first offense and a low-cost incident, you might invest in retraining that driver in safety protocols. But most likely you will not. You’ll be taking the time to hire and train a new driver.
A well-conducted study performed by the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute found that driver turnover costs transportation businesses on average $8,234 (ranging between $2,243 to $20,729) per turnover.
The Costs of Distracted Driving
Overall, the costs of distracted driving are more than any business can afford. Reduce your risk by having a strong driver screening process.
Your company should be part of that 42% who value formal safety training to prevent distracted driving. And don’t forget to review your insurance coverage. Don’t get stuck in this situation while under-insured.
And we can help you get the truck insurance you need to protect your business. Our team of truck insurance experts can help you get great coverage at a great rate. Get started with your quotes by filling out our online form or give us a call today.