• Approximately 30% of fatalities involved a drunken driver and/or an
excessive rate of speed.
Putting a price tag
on auto crashes
The National Safety Council estimated auto
crashes cost about $432.5 billion in 2016,
including those stemming from motor vehicle deaths, injuries and property damage.
To put this staggering price tag into perspective, it equals almost one-half of 2016
U.S. social security benefit payments.
Impact of vehicular accidents
on business automobile
Business automobile liability insurance
rates are rising faster than they have in
more than a decade. Even so, costs associated with crashes are outpacing premium
increases for some insurance companies.
Although some are charging more for
auto liability, they are making less money.
Insurers attribute the use of smartphones
by motorists to talk, text and access the
internet as a new and significant factor.
In addition to an increase in the number of wrecks, the rising size of business
automobile liability insurance claims is
affecting several auto insurance companies’ bottom lines. Growing costs for
medical care and auto repair are significant contributors to the increasing severity of claims. The rising price of auto parts
has also been a contributing factor.
Smart cars are being outsmarted
by inattentive drivers
The growing number of accidents “is
swamping the much-heralded beneficial
impacts of newer, safer vehicles,” according to Robert Hartwig, an insurance professor at the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.
Technical advances include rear view
cameras, collision-avoidance systems, air
bags and anti-lock brakes.
Companies might consider imposing a
ban on the use of personal devices – both
hand-held and hands-free – for employ-
ees driving to and from work, or when on
As a result, safe driving will not only
cut costs, it will increase revenue.
Gerry Sorge (gsorgel@kmrdpartners.
com) is a claims advocate at
KMRD Partners, Inc., a risk and
human capital management consulting
and insurance brokerage firm in
the Philadelphia region serving
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