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Motor vehicle work accidents

In Oklahoma, a great number of workers are injured or killed each year in work-related driving accidents. These accidents account for the largest number of workplace fatalities every year, with 36 percent of all job fatalities in 2012 occurring due to such accidents.

This statistic bears up across the country as well. Accidents occur on public roadways, at industrial work sites and off-road locations. A look at nationwide statistics from 2012 demonstrates that 1,275 workers died in public roadway accidents. An additional 338 vehicle non-occupants were killed, while 311 people died in industrial work site or other off-road work accidents.

The costs for such accidents are high. In 1998 to 2000, the annual costs of work-related motor vehicle crashes approached $60 billion. When an accident was a fatal one, the associated employer costs averaged $500,000 per accident. Workplace motor vehicle injury accidents cost employers an average of $74,000 apiece. The accidents occur in many industries in addition to commercial trucking. Many businesses require employees to drive as a part of their jobs, including delivery drivers for restaurants and other small businesses, construction workers and warehouse employees as well as many others. Small businesses often do not have the same regulations in place governing driving behavior as do commercial trucking companies. Employers should implement safety programs, policies and procedures to encourage safe driving behavior. Additionally, employers should make certain company vehicles are properly maintained and that drivers are only required to drive when outside conditions are safe.

While many people may not think of vehicle crashes when they think of workplace accidents, these crashes injure many workers every year. Those who are injured in work-related vehicle crashes may be able to recover compensation for their expenses and lost income by filing workers' compensation claims. If a claim is disputed or denied, a workers' compensation attorney may be able to provide assistance in the appeals process.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Motor Vehicle Safety", December 28, 2014

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