Most people know that motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of injury and death in the United States. However, auto accidents also pose a significant risk for workers as well.
In fact, they are the leading cause of work-related fatalities in the nation. If you or a loved one drive for a living or a considerable part of your work, you must be aware of this risk and take action to stay safe on Minnesota’s roads.
Statistics show transportation accidents are the leading cause of work fatalities
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Transportation accidents were by far the most common cause of work-related fatalities, with 2,077 fatalities in 2017; and
- 1,299 of these transportation accidents occurred on roadways, with a large portion involving collisions with other vehicles.
Roadway accidents are also the sixth most common cause of nonfatal workplace injuries nationwide.
Workers must be especially careful during Minnesota winters
If driving is a significant part of your job, whether you drive a semi-truck or deliver products, you are well aware of how quotas and strict deadlines might influence your driving. However, your safety is much more important.
You must be careful behind the wheel, especially during Minnesota winters and around the holidays. Driving safe can help you avoid the serious risk that auto accidents pose. Minnesotans know how dangerous the roads can be during the winter, but workers behind the wheel must remember:
- Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained and prepared for the cold;
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly, and leave yourself plenty of room to do so;
- Check the weather before leaving to prepare yourself;
- Do not rush on the roads, even if you have deadlines to meet; and
- Always stay alert and defensive while on the roads.
If workers are injured in a motor vehicle accident in the course of their employment, they are often still eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits, especially since Minnesota law states that most drivers are classified as employees unless they meet specific conditions.
However, workers can take action now and follow these tips to keep themselves safe and avoid injuries when they have to be out on the road.