Employee Engagement Reduces Driver Distraction, Crashes and Fatalities in Transportation Industry

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The clothes that keep us warm. The groceries that give us strength. The medicine that keeps us healthy. Without workers in the transportation industry, how would we get the basics that sustain our lives? Life would be far more difficult, and for many, impossible. Transportation workers keep us safe, and shouldn’t we do the same for them?

Unfortunately, the transportation industry is among the most dangerous on Earth, with thousands of Americans dying each year as a result. The good news is there are steps we can take to create a safer working environment, and it all begins with employee engagement and recognition. But before we start analyzing solutions, it’s important we outline the problem.

The Dangers of the Transportation Industry

To underscore some of the most pressing issues the transportation industry faces today, let’s take a closer look at one sector in particular -- trucking. In 2015 alone, nearly 750 truckers were killed on the job, making it the deadliest occupation in the United States. That same year, trucks were responsible for around 88% of all freight transportation fatalities and around 12% of all highway fatalities.

Driver distraction is the primary culprit in many of these cases. Conservative estimates state that 10% of fatal crashes were caused by driver distractions, as were 35% of all non-fatal accidents. However, many analysts claim these percentages are much higher.  

The greatest tragedy, by far, is the loss of life — men and women who are simply trying to do a good job and support their family are being taken from us far too soon. But, in addition to losing an employee and a friend, this can have a tremendous impact on your company’s bottom line. The average fatal crash costs an organization around $7 million. Making matters even worse, truckers are dying in record numbers. From 2009 to 2015, trucker deaths increased by 34%.

How Employee Engagement and Recognition Can Help

The National Health Institute reports that up to 70% of driving distractions can be prevented when a driver is engaged and focused on the task at hand. With 25% of distractions stemming from the workplace, employers can further reduce this number by developing proper engagement procedures.

These results aren’t isolated to the trucking sector alone. Studies have found that railroad workers with high levels of engagement dramatically reduce safety incidents and the chance of derailment, while engaged commercial airline workers are also far less likely to crash. Across all industries, companies with the highest levels of employee engagement experience, on average, 70% fewer safety incidents.

These aren’t the only benefits your business will experience by investing in employee engagement and recognition. When compared to companies with low engagement, similar organizations with high levels of engagement experience:

  • 41% Lower absenteeism
  • 24% lower turnover (high turnover industries)
  • 59% lower turnover (low turnover industries)
  • 28% less shrinkage
  • 70% fewer employee safety incidents
  • 40% fewer quality incidents (defects)
  • 17% higher productivity
  • 20% higher sales
  • 21% higher profitability

If you would like to learn more about how employee engagement and recognition can impact the transportation industry, please sign up for our on-demand webcast, “Going the Distance: How Employee Engagement Is Transforming the Transportation Industry.” For tips on how you can better engage your workers, check out our complimentary eBook, “5 Tips to Increase Driver Engagement.”

Are you looking for immediate assistance? Contact us today. C.A. Short Company has been in the employee engagement and recognition industry for over 80 years, and we’d love to show you the difference we can make for both your employees and your bottom line.

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C.A. Short Company partners with companies to manage, drive and facilitate increased employee engagement to increase financial performance, productivity, quality, and core performance outcomes. Our process and research-based platform enables executives and managers to engage their teams to increase the bottom line, motivate staff, and incentivize positive behavior. To Request a Complimentary Consultation, click here. 

Topics: Employee Recognition, Employee Engagement, Transportation

Brent Lee, CRP

About the Author
Brent Lee, CRP

With nearly 10 years of experience in the Safety & Employee Recognition Industry, Brent Lee, National Account Manager, is well versed in developing and implementing employee recognition programs that get results. Brent attended NC State University, with a BS in Business Management & Finance, and has recently earned his Certified Recognition Professional (CRP) accreditation from Recognition  Professionals International. He enjoys spending time with his family and outdoor sports... READ MORE


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