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Car crash claims cost Colorado employers $173M in the past five years

Posted: 1:02 PM, Dec 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-11 15:26:16-05

As Colorado’s population grows, workers are facing more risk on the roads.

Workers compensation provider Pinnacol Assurance recently compiled data and found that every year, about 1,500 Coloradans file claims for car crashes related to work. 

Jim McMillen, director of safety with Pinnacol Assurance, said workers are on the roads more lately as part of their jobs.

“We have a lot more home healthcare business than we did 10 years ago,” McMillen said. “These are people who are just out on the road using their personal vehicles for business purposes.”

According to Pinnacol’s data, the most common worker types at risk for motor vehicle crashes were healthcare workers, truckers, non-commercial drivers, auto servicers and police officers. Clerical employees are also at great risk.  

McMillen said companies may not realize this is a liability, but car accident claims cost Colorado employers $173 million in the past five years. He said it’s important for companies to have policies in place and provide defensive driver training for any employee who drives as part of the job.

“The truth is, most of us could stand to take more driving training and we should always, under all circumstances, put our smartphones away and wear seatbelts,” he said.

McMillen said companies can also use telematics tracking devices to monitor driving behaviors like speeding and hard braking.

Forty-two percent of motor vehicle claims involve drivers with less than one year on the job. Crashes were most common in the summer months, between July and September.