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Mobility & Transport - Road Safety

Costs of work-related road traffic injuries

Costs of work-related road traffic injuries



Costs of work-related road traffic injuries

The socio-economic costs of work related road traffic crashes and injuries are substantial both for countries and employers. Due to their greater frequency, the total costs of property damage crashes are even greater than that of injury crashes.

Crash costs comprise:

  • Lost work time and production losses
  • Emergency medical costs
  • Vehicle repair and maintenance costs - the average repair cost of a car is A£700 in Britain
  • Legal and insurance costs - annually, 66% of company cars in Britain are involved in a claim
  • Damage to employer reputation - especially when liveried vehicles are involved
  • Environmental costs - due to spillages of dangerous substances

Many organizations do not count the hidden costs of crashes (e.g. lost time and productivity) [29].

Little information is available in European countries about the specific socio-economic costs of work-related road traffic crashes (given the limited numbers of countries which collect data on 'journey purpose'). In Britain work-related crashes have been estimated at around A£2.7 billion annually [15]. In the US, crash costs typically comprise between 13-15% of a fleet's total spending and crashes cost companies around $US54.7 billion a year [35]. Work-related road crashes in Australia cost around $AUS425 million each year, and the average time lost from traffic crashes is greater than from any other workplace injury claim [49]. An Australian review [29] indicates that the costs are particularly high for organizations, for example, comprising between $AUS14 and $AUS21 million a year for a large telecom company [14].

A Swedish study of medically impairing occupational injuries sustained in national traffic indicated more than half of the cases with a permanent medical impairment were caused by minor injuries. Soft tissue injuries to the neck (whiplash injuries) made up nearly half of all permanently impairing injuries, and half of these were caused by rear-end collisions [7].

For companies, lost work time for employees involved in crashes from injury and ill-health is a costly consequence of the lack of an effective fleet management policy.