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On-the-job car crashes up, smartphone usage possibly linked: NCCI study

On-the-job car crashes up, smartphone usage possibly linked: NCCI study

Motor vehicle accidents are a sore spot for the workers compensation sector, as the frequency for all claims in comp from 2011 to 2016 declined by 17.6%, yet frequency for on-the-clock car accidents increased 5%, according to data released Wednesday by the Boca Raton, Florida-based National Council on Compensation Insurance.

The report, which used data in NCCI’s statistical plan database of claim characteristics, also found that over 40% of workers compensation fatalities involved a motor vehicle accident. It also highlights that while the frequency of lost-time claims has steadily declined since 2010, lost-time claims arising from car accidents have been rising.

Other findings included:

  • Motor vehicle claims cost 80% to 100% more than the average claim because they involve severe injuries, such as head, neck and multiple body-part injuries.
  • That the rapid expansion of smartphone ownership since 2011 may have been a factor in the rise in accidents. The smartphone share of cell phones nearly doubled from 42% at year-end 2011 to 81% by the end of 2016. 
  • Most accidents are the result of driving as opposed to being hit by a car. From 2000 to 2016, the split of “occupant vs. struck by” claims has remained “very consistent” at about 85% to 15%.
  • Of the top 30 motor-vehicle classes reviewed, including that of trucking, the largest increase in frequency occurred in the “taxicab company” class, with a dramatic rise in frequency more than doubling from 2011 to 2015.
  • The increase in motor vehicle accidents is a “phenomenon that is not confined to (workers comp), as vehicle accident patterns in the general population are very consistent with those observed in comp.








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