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Motor vehicle injuries on the job

Minnesota employees may find it beneficial to learn more about trends concerning motor vehicle accidents at work, as described by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the CDC, the risk for these types of injuries exists in all industries where driving is involved. The employees injured in motor vehicle accidents may be professional drivers or they may only operate a vehicle as needed by the employer.

The CDC claims that these type of incidents are the leading cause of workplace deaths in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 35 percent of workplace fatalities are attributable to motor vehicle accidents. From 2003 to 2010, on average, more than 1,200 employees died from accidents on public highways every year. In addition, more than 300 employees were killed on industrial sites or places other than the highway. During this period, nearly 340 pedestrian employees were killed each year after being struck by a motor vehicle.

Employee deaths and injuries can cost a business a significant amount of money. While federal regulations govern companies using larger vehicles like semi-trailers, there are no federal workplace regulations that specifically address companies using personal vehicles or smaller vehicles that are provided by the employer. The CDC states that a proactive approach towards improving workplace safety policies and reducing the risks of car accidents may be the most effective strategy for protecting employees on the road.

Employees who have suffered injuries due to a motor vehicle accident may be entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits. In some cases, if the accident was due to the negligence of a non-employer third party, it may be possible to also maintain a separate personal injury action in addition to the workers' compensation claim.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Motor Vehicle Safety", December 20, 2014

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