Traffic Accidents: Leading Cause of Work Fatalities

Car accidents are the number one cause of on-the-job fatalities in the country.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), half of the federal workers who were killed on the job between 2002 and 2010 died in transportation accidents. During to 2003 fiscal year, there were close to 30 workers who were killed in work-related traffic accidents. Anothermore than 8,000 federal workers injured in these kinds of incidents.
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Our Greensboro workers’ compensation attorneys understand that our roadways are dangerous out there. Driving workers face the highest risks for car accidents. It’s important that these workers are not overworked. When they’re not given schedules conducive to proper rest, they face serious risks for drowsy driving car accidents and distracted driving accidents. It’s important that employers make sure that workers are safe behind the wheel and that rules and regulations are in place to maximize safety.

Employers should require that all employers wear their seat belt during ever trip. As a matter of fact, seat belts can cut the risk of death in the event of an accident by nearly 50 percent for those in cars and by as much as 60 percent for those in SUVs and trucks. Each year, officials estimate that nearly 15,000 lives are saved every year because of seat belts. Each state in the U.S. has a law mandating seat belt use, employers should as well. Despite these efforts, about 20 percent of Americans still neglect to wear a seat belt.

Federal workers are required to wear seat belts during every trip. All others should be required, too! Employers should also require that cell phones be kept out of the driver’s seat. Behind the wheel is no time to multitask and to deal with work-related business. It’s a time to focus on safety and on driving. There should be a no cell phone policy enacted in all driving positions. Federal employees are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving a government vehicle. Your employer should have a similar policy.

Some of these accidents even involve semi-trucks and tractor-trailers. These can be some of the most catastrophic accidents. When these are involved in crashes — fatalities usually result. It’s important that these truck drivers are getting plenty of sleep and are not being over worked. For this reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted new Hours of Service (HOS) rules. These rules will be effective on July 1st of 2013.

Final HOS Rules:

-For every 8 hours behind the wheel, a driver must get at least a 30 minute rest break.

-Driving (or allowing a driver to drive) three or more hours beyond the driving-time limit may be considered an egregious violation and subject to the maximum civil penalties.

-Drivers are allowed to drive 11 hours in a row after a consecutive 10 hours off the clock.

-Driving time and records need to be kept in a log book and an electronic equivalent.

Have you or a loved one been injured on the job? Contact the Lee Law Offices today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

Keeping Young Workers Safe on the Job in North Carolina, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, November 8, 2012

State and Federal OSHA – A Question of Proper Enforcement, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, November 6, 2012

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