24 | MAY 2018 | Claims Magazine | PropertyCasualty360.com
With more than six million auto accidents occurring annually, many claims managers already feel as
if they have been run over by the number of resulting claims. As automobiles
increasingly double as entertainment
centers, telephone booths, restaurants
and personal grooming boutiques, the
demands placed upon claims managers
have only increased.
Unless significant behavioral change
occurs among motorists, auto claims will
continue to shuttle into claims departments at a pace best described as intense.
What is distracted driving?
When discussing distracted driving, talk-
ing on the telephone and texting quickly
come to mind. However, anything that
takes the driver’s eyes or even mind off
the road counts as distracted driving.
This includes using a navigation system,
listening to music, drinking a cup of coffee and even daydreaming.
There has been an alarming rise
in roadside fatalities
According to an estimate released by
the National Safety Council, a nonprofit
safety advocacy group, roadside fatalities
in 2016 reached 40,200. Not only was
this a 6% gain from 2015, it was a 14%
increase from 2014. These increases have
affected business automobile liability insurance rates.
The National Safety Council also re-
leased these findings regarding distracted
•47% of motorists described them-
selves as being comfortable texting
while driving, and
•10% of drivers reported driving
According to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, more than 1,000
people are injured in crashes reported to
involve distracted driving each day in the
Analysts working for the National High-
way Traffic Safety Administration report
the increase in vehicular fatalities can be
partially attributed to the fact more people
are driving more miles due to increased job
growth and lower fuel prices. Combined
with more miles and time spent the road,
analysts cite three main causes for the trou-
blingly high number of traffic fatalities:
• Distracted driving was a factor in ap-
proximately 10% of auto deaths.
• Almost 50% of the deaths occurred
when passengers were not wearing
by the Numbers
BY GERRY SORGE