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Motor vehicle work accidents in North Carolina

The leading cause of occupational injuries in North Carolina and around the country is motor vehicle accidents. The issue is not one confined only to the commercial trucking industry, but rather is spread across employment sectors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a review of workplace motor vehicle accident statistics between the years of 2003 and 2010 demonstrated that an average of 1,275 workers were killed annually in motor vehicle crashes occurring on public roads. An additional 338 pedestrian workers were killed when they were struck by cars while working, while another 311 workers each year died in industrial-site and off-road motor vehicle collisions.

Such crashes have significant financial costs as well, with an estimated $60 billion in annual losses caused by motor vehicle work collisions. Estimates also indicated that each single fatal work crash costed employers around $500,000, while nonfatal ones cost close to $74,000.

Employers should implement policies and training garnered to reduce work-related motor vehicle accidents. The cost in terms of human life is significant. Businesses other than the commercial trucking industry which utilize driving as a component of their business practices should also implement safety training and driving standards. Many of these smaller companies are not subjected to the driving regulations to which commercial trucking companies are, but still have a great number of motor vehicle accidents each year. Most employers are mandated to carry workers' compensation coverage to protect workers who are injured on the job. Thus, an employee who is injured in a work-related motor vehicle collision may be entitled to file a workers' compensation claim. Through workers' compensation, the worker may recover medical expenses, lost wages, ongoing treatment and other associated costs. Injured workers may benefit by consulting with a workers' compensation attorney about their accidents.

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

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