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Traffic Deaths Up in 2020 Despite Less Driving

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Early estimates from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveal that 2020 had the largest projected number of deaths since 2007—even though Americans drove less due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An estimated 38,680 people died last year, according to the NHSTA. Their analysis shows that impaired driving, speeding and failure to wear a seat belt all contributed to this increase.

In response to this rise in accidents, many employers are seeking to promote safe driving habits within their workforces. Specifically, some organizations have chosen to equip their fleet vehicles with new vehicle technology called telematics.

Telematics software detects driving behavior, so employees are more motivated to follow safe driving practices and even discover flaws they may not have realized before. Telematics reduces numerous fleet risks, improves efficiency and promotes safe driving behaviors.

Another cause of accidents is distracted driving, which includes among other things, eating, drinking, texting or talking on the phone behind the wheel. Distracted driving reduces awareness, decision-making and performance—increasing the likelihood of driver error, near-crashes or crashes.

It’s important for you to minimize the likelihood of employee crashes. Implementing and enforcing policies on driving behaviors, such as mandatory seat belt usage and cell phone protocols, can make your drivers smarter and more attentive, and reduce what can be avoidable accidents. For additional safety resources, contact Dansig Insurance Risk Advisors.

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