Fleet Safety There Are Significant Losses Term Paper

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Fleet Safety

There are significant losses from transportation incidents, including death, injury, wage losses, hiring and training expenses, high insurance premiums, property damage, and business losses (Della-Giustina pp). The greatest cause of accidental death in the United States involves motor vehicle incidents (Della-Giustina pp). Each year approximately 50,000 people die and more than 2 million receive disabling injuries (Della-Giustina pp). The overall death rate in the United States is roughly 22% per 100,000 motor vehicle accidents, and some studies suggest that between 25-35% of all job related deaths involve motor vehicles (Della-Giustina pp).

A proper investigation requires a methodical, systematic, unemotional undertaking to collect and interpret information about an event in order to establish the extent of an injury or loss, how and why it happened, and to analyze the processes to minimize the risk or prevent a recurrence (Investigation pp). An investigation involves the gathering of evidence, some of which may be fragile, thus it is important to collect in descending order of fragility (Investigation pp). Perhaps the most fragile pieces of evidence is the "recollection of a witness," since with the passage of time, the sub-conscious memory may begin to fill in the events with what others have stated or theorized (Investigation pp). Therefore, it is crucial to keep proper notes concerning what steps have been taken and keep a chronological list of actions, thus ensuring an overall view of the incident and the appearance of any gaps in the investigation (Investigation pp).

The manufacturing setting has generally been a highly visible area for worker safety programs, however in the year 2000, more worker fatalities were caused by vehicle crashes in the United States than by any other incident type (Fleet pp). A typical motorist in the U.S. travels roughly 12,000 to 15,000 miles a year, and has a one in 15 chance of being involved in a vehicle collision each year (Fleet pp). Most fleet drivers travel at least 25,000 miles or more each year, thus they have a greater exposure to crash risks (Fleet pp). Moreover, fleet vehicle crashes create the most costly worker injury claims, averaging over $21,000 per incident (Fleet pp). Aside from property damage, crashes result inn lost productivity and/or lost income due to missed sales calls and potential third-party liability claims from an at-fault crash, and because most companies self-insure fleet vehicles and drivers, it is the company directly bears the burden of these costs (Fleet pp). Therefore, it is important for any organization that operates a fleet to take a proactive approach to fleet safety (Fleet pp).

Safety leaders recognized the need for data on highway traffic accidents as early as the 1920's, and a national conference on street and highway safety that was held in 1924 in Washington, D.C. reported, "Statistics regarding street and highway accidents are so vital to any comprehensive understanding and treatment of the safety problem that their collection and analysis in every State and community are essential" (Kalla pp). This statement is even more true today when considering the interconnected local, state and federal transportation and other systems (Kalla pp). By the end of the twentieth century, every state and local government had the mechanisms to collect highway crash data, and today safety professionals know that a number of ever-changing variables factor into the frequency and severity of crashes: "travel mode, the road and roadway conditions, type of vehicle, weather, amount of travel, terrain, and most uncontrollable of all, peoples' behavior" (Kalla pp). The safety community is looking for the links among all these factors as it builds better and more accurate safety prediction models that will be used by decision makers, designers, and planners, "to make choices about and implement a safer transportation and highway system" (Kalla pp). Therefore the amount and quality of available date are key to improving highway safety performance (Kalla pp). The continuing challenge is gathering complete and accurate data, and making this data more accessible and easier to use for transportation leaders and decision makers (Kalla pp).

Data collection is improving, however there are still processing inefficiencies that can impact overall decision concerning safety, mainly because not all regional areas have access to the same levels of the latest technology (Kala pp). One example is that many law enforcement personnel complete and file paper copies of crash reports and investigations, which are forwarded through an organizational chain for processing (Kala pp). Then multiple agencies manually key… [END OF PREVIEW]

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