Keeping Workers Safe on the Road

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation has launched Business Pulse: Motor Vehicle Safety at Work, focusing on how businesses can protect employees who drive for work in the United States and travel for business abroad.

This issue also features an interactive infographic that provides useful facts and links to CDC programs that help employers prevent crashes and reduce injuries.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related injury death in the United States. Workplace crashes affect businesses through lost productivity, medical and workers’ compensation costs, liability and reputational damage.

Reducing deaths due to motor vehicle crashes has been one of the greatest public health achievements of the last 50 years. In 2014, the rate of crash deaths in the United States, based on miles driven, was one-fifth the rate for 1966. And, the number of deaths decreased from 50,894 in 1966 to 32,675 in 2014.

But, as CDC Vital Signs reports, the United States still lags behind other high-income countries in reducing deaths and injuries from motor vehicle crashes. Moreover, we should be concerned by a leveling-off of progress since 2009, and early estimates of motor vehicle crash fatalities for 2015 indicate 35,200 deaths – a return to the level of fatalities seen in 2008.

In 2013 alone, on-the-job motor vehicle crashes cost employers $25 billion. Keeping workers safe on the road depends on employer commitment to road safety, supported by strong policies that are developed and put in place with input from workers.

CDC offers resources to help businesses put a new motor vehicle safety program in place or strengthen an existing program.