It’s almost that time of year again! That’s right, National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is just around the corner. From September 10 - September 16, organizations will be honoring those unsung heroes -- truck drivers.
Although they seldom get the credit they deserve, truck drivers are the backbone of the U.S. economy. Considering that over 70% of all freight tonnage is transported via trucks, America would come to a stop if it wasn’t for truckers. In addition to being an important occupation, it’s also a very dangerous one -- with thousands of people dying each year!
That’s why we feel the best way you can help honor truckers this National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is to help create the safest workplace possible. Employee engagement can make this happen. But, before we dive into how we can accomplish this, let’s first examine the current state of the trucking industry.
Accidents Are Expensive, Especially on the Road
On-the-job accidents are always costly, but this is especially true for those occurring within the trucking industry. According to recent findings by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the average cost per truck accident in the United States is around $150,000. These costs can be broken down into two main categories -- indirect vs. direct.
- Loss of Clients or Customers
- Lost Sales
- Meetings Missed
- Salaries Paid to Employees in Accident
- Lost Time at Work
- Cost to Hire or Train Replacement Workers
- Cargo Damage
- Vehicle Damage
- Injury Costs
- Medical Costs
- Loss of Revenue
- Administrative Costs
- Cost of Insurance Increases
While these are lofty expenses, they’re far from the biggest cost one might experience in an accident.
The Biggest Cost -- Loss of Life
Driving a regular automobile is dangerous enough, but operating a freight truck is especially perilous. From the risks associated with loading and unloading their freight to hazardous driving conditions, the dangers truck drivers face are many.
In 2015, nearly 4,000 people died in large truck crashes, with 16% of these deaths being truck occupants, 69 % were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, and 15 % were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists. From 2009 to 2015, the number of truck occupants who died increased by 34%.
Although losing an employee is the greatest loss of all, companies also take a tremendous financial hit from accidents involving fatalities -- to the tune of nearly $8,000,000, on average.
The question then becomes, how can we create safer work environments for the brave men and women who risk their lives so we can get the merchandise we want and need? The answer lies in employee engagement and recognition. Simply put, when your company adopts a Culture of Engagement and Recognition, amazing things start to happen.
Each year, Gallup measures the impact of employee engagement in their comprehensive report, “State of the American Workplace.” Their 2017 findings were especially telling. When compared with companies with low levels of engagement, companies with high levels of engagement experienced, on average:
- 70% fewer safety incidents
- 41% Lower absenteeism
- 24% lower turnover (high turnover industries)
- 59% lower turnover (low turnover industries)
- 28% less shrinkage
- 17% higher productivity
- 20% higher sales
- 21% higher profitability
Ways to Engage
Looking to engage and recognize your employees in the most effective way possible? The first step is education. To learn some quick steps you can take to engage your workers, check out our blog, 5 Ways Fleet Owners Can Increase Driver Engagement. While you’re there, make sure to subscribe to our blog. It’s filled with the latest info and analysis on all things engagement and recognition.
If you’re looking for more comprehensive information, download our complimentary guide, 5 Tips to Increase Driver Engagement. Really want to jumpstart your engagement efforts? C.A. Short Company has been in the employee engagement and recognition industry for nearly a century, and we’d love to show you what we can do for your company. Send us an email or give us a call today!