The Importance of a Seatbelt Policy
Implementing and enforcing a seatbelt policy can save lives, minimize injuries and protect your company against financial losses.
Accident Costs Have a Snowball Effect
After an accident, most employers expect to see increases in workers compensation premiums and vehicle liability insurance costs. However, they don’t anticipate the many indirect costs such as hiring and training a replacement or covering sick leave.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), a vehicle crash with non-fatal injuries costs an employer $68,100, while a fatal crash costs $1,290,400.
The two primary areas where employers bear the costs of vehicle crashes are fringe benefit costs and non-fringe benefit costs. Fringe benefit costs are those paid as a result of an injury or fatality. Non-fringe benefit costs are more indirect costs, such as administrative costs, decreased productivity and replacement training.
Fringe benefits costs include:
- Workers compensation insurance
- Disability insurance
- Health insurance
- Sick leave
- Social security disability insurance
- Life insurance
- Non-fringe benefits costs include:
- Motor vehicle property damage and liability insurance
- Unreimbursed vehicle damage and replacements
- Lower employee productivity
- Hiring and or training a replacement for the worker
- Time spent by other employees to run and process these programs
Seatbelt Policy Basics
A safe driving program including mandatory seatbelt use can save a lot of money. A report from the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety shows that for every million miles of company travel, a safety program can save $50,000.
Establish a Seatbelt Policy
Develop a strict seatbelt policy that includes training and awareness, enforcement, evaluation — and even employee incentives.
Create Seatbelt Usage Rules
Establish the details of your policy. Make sure it requires employees (both drivers and passengers) to buckle up 100% of the time. This policy should apply regardless of how big or small the vehicle or how quick the trip.
Make Training Mandatory
Even though your employees probably know how to properly fasten seatbelts, don’t leave it to chance. Train all employees on proper techniques for cars, pickups and any other vehicles your company operates. This training lets you make sure all employees understand what’s expected of them.
Raise Internal Awareness
Create an annual or semi-annual awareness campaign. There are plenty of organizations that offer free materials on seatbelt campaigns. This is one of the easiest, cheapest and most convenient ways to support your seatbelt policy.
Be vigilant in enforcing your seatbelt policy. Let employees know that violating the policy carries the same consequences as violating any other company safety rule. Always take progressive disciplinary action for unbuckled drivers.
Create a baseline for comparison of current seatbelt use. Then regularly evaluate your company’s progress toward a 100% buckled-up goal.