What Are the Common Causes of Car Accidents?

Car accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in the United States, with millions of individuals affected each year. While many accidents occur during personal travel, a significant number of collisions involve employees driving for work-related purposes. Employers must understand their potential liability in these situations and take steps to prevent and protect against work-related car accidents. In this blog post, we will explore the common causes of car accidents, employer liability, and actionable tips for prevention and protection.

Common Causes of Car Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the following factors are among the most common causes of car accidents:

  • Distracted driving: Texting, talking on the phone, eating, and other distractions can lead to accidents.
  • Speeding: Exceeding the posted speed limit or driving too fast for conditions increases the risk of collisions.
  • Driving under the influence: Alcohol and drugs impair judgment, reaction time, and motor skills, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
  • Aggressive driving: Tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and other aggressive behaviors can lead to collisions.
  • Weather conditions: Rain, snow, ice, and fog can create hazardous driving conditions and contribute to accidents.

Employer Liability in Work-Related Car Accidents

Employers may be held liable for accidents involving employees driving for work-related purposes. This means that if an employee is acting within the scope of their employment and causes an accident, the employer may be held responsible for damages. Additionally, employers may be held directly liable for accidents if they failed to provide proper training and supervision.

Preventing Work-Related Car Accidents

Employers can take several steps to reduce the risk of work-related car accidents and protect themselves from potential liability:

  • Implement a comprehensive driver safety program: Develop and enforce a written policy outlining expectations for safe driving, including guidelines on distracted driving, speeding, and other risky behaviors. Provide regular training and updates to employees on safe driving practices.
  • Conduct thorough background checks: Before hiring employees who will be driving for work, check their driving records for any history of accidents or violations. Regularly review driving records for all employees who drive as part of their job duties.
  • Maintain company vehicles: Ensure that all company-owned vehicles are properly maintained and inspected regularly to prevent mechanical failures that could contribute to accidents.

Protecting Your Business from Liability

Despite your best efforts to prevent work-related car accidents, they can still occur. To protect your business from potential liability, consider the following:

  • Carry adequate insurance coverage: Ensure that your business has sufficient auto liability insurance to cover potential damages in the event of an accident involving an employee.
  • Consult with an experienced employment law attorney: An attorney can help you navigate the complexities of employer liability in car accidents and ensure that your business is taking the necessary precautions to minimize risk.

At Yen Pilch Robaina & Kresin, our experienced employment law attorneys can help businesses in Phoenix and the surrounding areas understand their potential liability in work-related car accidents and implement strategies to prevent and protect against these incidents.

Contact us today to discuss your specific situation and learn how we can help.