Texas Mutual Insurance Company - Providers of Workers' Comp Insurance

In-Vehicle Monitoring Systems: A Sound Business Investment

An employee is travelling between job sites and exceeding the speed limit by 20 miles per hour. He's taking corners entirely too fast, accelerating aggressively and slamming on the brakes. As if that weren't bad enough, he's not wearing a seat belt.

Those are the types of behaviors that can lead to serious, even fatal, accidents. They're also the types of behaviors you can monitor from your office with an in-vehicle monitoring system (IVMS).

Motor vehicle crashes are the most common causes of workplace fatalities in Texas. Your employees' pain and suffering are the most important consequences of these incidents. You also have to consider the monetary costs.

The average on-the-job traffic accident costs the employer $16,500, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Traffic accidents that result in injuries cost an average of $74,000. When a fatality is involved, costs can exceed $500,000.

Any time workers get behind the wheel, whether to run errands, visit clients or operate heavy vehicles, accidents are very real possibilities. Investing in an IVMS is a proactive approach to identifying and correcting the behaviors that cause accidents.

An IVMS works by tracking information, providing alerts and allowing for a detailed analysis of data that can be used for driver feedback and accident investigation. Investing in an IVMS can help you:

  • Reduce risky behaviors, such as speeding and not wearing a seatbelt
  • Demonstrate corporate social responsibility
  • Save money on fuel and vehicle maintenance
  • Most importantly, reduce accidents

In fact, studies show that having an IVMS in a vehicle, even if nobody monitors it, can positively influence drivers' behavior. But what about the price tag?

The cost of an IVMS varies with its complexity. Basic systems can cost a few hundred dollars. More advanced – and expensive – systems can cost up to $1,000. You will also bear the cost of the IVMS monitoring service.

But remember that an IVMS is an investment in your employees' wellbeing, and you cannot put a price on that.

Navigating the numerous IVMS models on the market can be intimidating. Start by talking with vendors and doing some comparison shopping.

After you settle on a system that's right for your business, conduct a pilot test. Use the system in a few vehicles before you roll it out companywide. Once you do, remember that you will have to make adjustments as you and your employees get comfortable with the process.

Traffic accidents are on the rise, and workplace fatalities are mounting. Business owners must take control of the situation. An IVMS can be an attractive option to any business whose employees drive as part of their job.

It is not, however, a substitute for a comprehensive safe-driving program that includes a written policy, thorough accident investigations, and regularly scheduled training, vehicle maintenance and drivers' record checks.

Whether your business puts 1 or 100 employees on the road, you have a responsibility to keep them safe. Texas Mutual is here to help.

For more safe driving information, visit safehandtexas.org. You also have access to thousands of free workplace safety materials in the safety resource center at texasmutual.com.

If you have questions, please contact a Texas Mutual safety professional at (800) 859-5995 or safety@texasmutual.com.

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