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Vehicular accidents in the workplace

Car, truck and bus accidents are the most common causes of work-related fatality in Minnesota and around the country, making up 36 percent of all deaths on the job. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that from 1998 to 2000, injuries from motor vehicle accidents were setting back U.S. employers $60 billion each year, with each non-fatal injury costing just short of $74,000 and each death resulting in half a million dollars' expense in liability and direct costs combined.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is the responsibility of employers to emphasize the importance of vehicular safety to all their employees, whether their jobs primarily involve driving or not. The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety is an organization founded for that purpose, partnering with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Center for Motor Vehicle Safety to provide public-private cooperation in the effort to reduce motor vehicle accidents.

NETS's core program is known as the Drive Safely Work Week, which provides materials for employers and their employees on safe driving practices. The organization recommends that corporate policies deal with cellphone use while driving and the use of seat belts, as well as integrating information on vehicular safety into employee health and wellness programs.

Employees who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident while at work may be eligible to receive workers' compensation. An injured employee may find it helpful to obtain the assistance of a personal injury lawyer in filing a workers' comp claim. A lawyer may also be able to advise an injured worker on their legal options. These options may include insurance claims or a personal injury lawsuit if the injury was caused by the negligence of another individual.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Motor Vehicle Safety", December 20, 2014

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