Human error is the leading cause of vehicle crashes, involved in over 90% of driving incidents!

That implies that the great majority of their drivers’ violations and crashes can actually be prevented. With dangerous driving behavior on the rise, companies must pay close attention to the violations and trends across their driver populations. Having a comprehensive driver safety program will ensure that they are filling all the gaps in their driver risk – from their safety policy to the ongoing training they provide for each driver.

In this blog, we cover the top three most common driving behaviors that safety managers need to be on the lookout for when it comes to establishing a clear safety policy, monitoring violations and implementing effective driver training.

Three Common Causes of Car Crashes

1. Speeding

According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities for over 20 years. In 2020, speeding was a contributing factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities.

Speed can affect safety even when your drivers are mindful of the speed limit. They also need to be aware of how to handle their speed in situations such as bad weather, when a road is under repair or in an area at night that isn’t well-lit. Defensive driving training is a great way to help your drivers combat this.

What’s also important to note is that a speeding violation is a leading indicator of future crashes. Our recent crash prediction study correlated MVR events with insurance claims, and we found that receiving a violation for speeding increases the probability of a claim within the next year by 22.1%.

Download Now | Free Guide: SambaSafety Crash Prediction Study

2. Intoxicated Driving

According to NHTSA, about 30% of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers. From 2011 to 2020, about 10,500 people died every year in drunk-driving crashes, and this average is starting to climb. In 2020, there were 11,654 people killed in these preventable crashes. This number is a 14% increase from 2019.

Our crash prediction study found that if your employee receives a violation for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, the probability of a future claim involving this driver within the next year is 42.1%.

As a safety manager, your company’s rules surrounding drugs and alcohol should be clearly defined in your safety policy. While a regulated motor carrier is required to implement a company drug and alcohol policy in accordance with 49 CFR 382.601, any company may elect to include a drug and alcohol policy as a distinct component of the driver safety policy. Alternatively, some companies choose to have a stand-alone drug and alcohol policy.

3. Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is another top crash contributor, claiming 3,142 lives in 2020 alone. Despite combative efforts put in place by law enforcement and companies that manage fleets, distracted driving continues to be an ever-growing problem.

From cellphones and in-dash technology to eating, talking to passengers and even fatigued driving, the distractions that take your team’s eyes off the road are endless. Combating this driving behavior is not an easy battle for companies that employ drivers. It also greatly increases a company’s risk of future crashes, costly claims and lives lost if they don’t have a proactive safety strategy in place.

When referencing our crash prediction study, there are multiple distracted driving-related violations that are big indicators of future claims. Safety managers should be on the lookout for:

Understanding the growing risk these violations present and developing a plan to prevent them can save your company more than just money — it can save lives.

Download our complete crash prediction study for a deeper dive into must-watch violations. 

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