Motor Vehicle Safety at Work

Keeping Workers Safe on the Road

Millions of workers in all types of jobs drive or ride in a motor vehicle as part of their work. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury-related workplace deaths in the United States, and in 2013 alone, on-the-job crashes cost employers $25 billion. Learn how resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can help you protect your workforce in the United States and overseas from complex motor vehicle safety challenges.



Motor vehicle crashes represented 36% of all injury-related workplace deaths in the United States in 2014. The type of job or company doesn’t matter—anyone who drives or works near vehicles is at risk.

1 Crashes are the leading cause of death at work

Did You Know?

Did You Know?


Motor vehicle crashes are the first or second leading cause of death in every major industry group Source

58% of workers who died in motor vehicle crashes at work in 2014 were not employed in motor vehicle operator jobs such as truck, bus and taxi drivers.Source

More than 1 in 3 long-haul truck drivers have experienced a serious truck crash during their career. Source

2Workplace Crashes are Costly

On-the-job motor vehicle crashes can have a devastating impact on workers and their families, friends and communities. Crashes also affect business through lost productivity, medical and workers’ compensation costs, liability and reputational damage.

2Workplace Crashes are Costly

In 2013, on-the-job motor vehicle crashes cost employers:



per non-fatal injury


per fatality

*Including health fringe benefit costs such as sick leave, medical expenses and insurance, and other costs such as property damage, liability costs and workplace disruption.

Average cost per non-fatal, on-the-job crash injury (selected risk factors)

  • Not wearing a seat belt

  • Distractions

  • Speed

Did You Know?

Did You Know?


On-the-job motor vehicle crashes result in significant lost work time

Incident Median lost workdays Percentage of events with 31 or more lost workdays
Vehicle occupant in single- or multiple-vehicle crash on public roadway 11 31%
Vehicle occupant in single- or multiple-vehicle crash off public roadway 17 41%
Pedestrian struck by motor vehicle 20 41%
All workplace injuries 9 29%

3Motor Vehicle Crashes are Complex Events

Reducing workplace crashes requires a thorough assessment of the risks drivers may face in performing their jobs.

3Motor Vehicle Crashes are Complex Events

Driving Policy Checklist (Select Below)

1. Seat belts

Do you promote seat belt use in training and safety meetings?

2. Distracted Driving

Do you require workers to pull over in a safe location if they must text, make a call or use their hand-held device for other purposes such as looking up directions?

3. Fatigue

Do you design work schedules that allow enough time off so workers can get adequate sleep?

4. Speed

Do you factor in on- and off-the-job speeding violations when deciding whether to award driving privileges at work?

5. Impaired Driving

Do you prohibit operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription and over-the-counter medications that could affect the ability to drive safely?

6. Safe Vehicles

Do you select vehicles with high safety ratings for your workers?

7. Bad Roads, Bad Weather

Do you give workers information about road and weather conditions, and allow them to stop driving if the weather is bad?

Did You Know?

Did You Know?


In a national survey, 14% of long-haul truck drivers reported that they either sometimes or never used a seat belt while driving a truck for work. Source

In 2014, 16% of all motor vehicle crashes in the United States involved a distracted driver. Source

As many as 21% of fatal crashes in the United States involve a drowsy driver. Source

4Crashes are a Leading Risk for Business Travelers while Abroad

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for healthy U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad. In certain regions of the world, such as Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean, the risks are much greater. Vehicles that look the same as those available in the United States may have fewer safety features.

4Crashes are a Leading Risk for Business Travelers while Abroad

Did You Know?

Did You Know?


The world regions with the highest death rates due to motor vehicle crashes are Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. Source

Motorized two- or three-wheeled vehicles, such as motorcycles and three-wheeled taxis, make up more than one-third of motor vehicle crash deaths in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region. Source

Vehicles sold in 80% of all countries worldwide fail to meet basic safety standards.Source

CDC Business Benefits

CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducts research and develops recommendations to protect and promote the safety and health of all workers. CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control is the nation’s leading authority on injury and violence.

CDC Business Benefits

Helpful programs that address work-related motor vehicle safety challenges in the United States and overseas include:

NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety

Conducts research, develops recommendations and communicates ways employers can prevent work-related motor vehicle crashes, injuries and deaths.

Learn More

CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control – Motor Vehicle Safety

Focuses on preventing motor vehicle-related injuries, applying science and creating real-world solutions to keep people safe, healthy and productive.

Learn More

CDC Travelers' Health

Helps travelers stay healthy and safe when traveling or working abroad.

Learn More

take action

For all kinds of companies, travel by road puts workers at high risk of work-related injury or death. Managing this risk depends on employer commitment to road safety, supported by strong policies that are developed and put in place with input from workers. CDC offers resources to help businesses put a new motor vehicle safety program in place or strengthen an existing program.

Take Action

For Business Leaders

Commit to road safety
  • Commit to road safety and serve as role models for safety.

  • Involve workers in shaping road safety policies.

  • Assess workplace motor vehicle safety risks and develop policies to address them.

Consider reducing road travel
  • Consider whether work can be accomplished by phone or by video- or web-conferencing.

  • Consider safer forms of transportation such as air and rail.

  • Combine trips or loads to reduce miles driven.

Establish policies to protect workers from motor vehicle crash injuries
  • Require all drivers and passengers to use a seat belt on every trip.

  • Do not allow workers to text or use a handheld mobile phone while driving.

  • Schedule work so that employees are not pressured to drive too fast or for too many hours to meet deadlines.

  • Provide vehicles with high crash test safety ratings.

Protect workers from being involved in a crash while traveling abroad
  • Give workers information about road conditions, traffic laws, and safe public transportation options for countries where they work.

  • Do not expect workers to drive after a flight that has crossed several time zones.

For Workers

Commit to safe driving
  • Talk with your supervisor about how to improve motor vehicle safety in your workplace.

  • Stay up-to-date with eye exams and talk with your health care professional about how medical conditions or medications might affect your ability to drive safely.

Follow your company’s motor vehicle safety policies and state traffic laws
  • Use your seat belt on every trip, and insist that all your passengers do the same.

  • Do not text or use a handheld mobile phone while driving.

  • Do not drive if you are impaired by alcohol, other substances or medications.

  • Ensure that you are well-rested before you drive for work. If you are too fatigued to drive, tell your supervisor.

Protect yourself from the risk of crashes and injuries while working abroad
  • Avoid driving or riding on motorcycles or motorbikes, including motorcycle taxis.

  • Be alert when crossing streets, especially in countries where motorists drive on the left side of the road.

  • When possible, avoid driving at night in developing countries.

  • Ride only in marked taxis, and try to ride in those that have seat belts. Hire drivers familiar with the area.

Learn More

For more information visit:

NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control – Motor Vehicle Safety

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