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Fewer Employees Injured In Auto Accidents Now In Age Of COVID-19
By Lonce Lamonte - November 11, 2020

It shouldn’t be surprising that fewer employees are being injured in auto accidents presently in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  COVID-19 continues to impact the economy with altered behaviors.

Motor vehicle accident related workers’ compensation system costs in 2020 are projected to be reduced due to COVID-19 and, therefore, potentially offset other COVID-19 related costs.

Overall, it has been found COVID-19 will result in an expected decrease to workers’ compensation motor vehicle expenses as motor vehicle accidents decline.  This is consistent with decreases in miles driven between March and June 2020.

Two historically consistent statistics possibly disrupted by the pandemic are the number of workers’ compensation motor vehicle claims relative to miles driven, and the number of workers’ compensation motor vehicle accident fatalities compared with all motor vehicle accident fatalities.

Monthly miles traveled and motor vehicle accident fatalities decreased significantly between March and May 2020 compared with seasonal mileage statistics.  But an increase in motor vehicle accident fatalities in June 2020 may be driven by changes in driving dynamics.  

There were more motor vehicle accident fatalities per miles traveled between March and June 2020, compared with seasonal mileage statistics.  Miles traveled decreased more than motor vehicle accident fatalities. 

So, generally, as workers continue to practice social distancing, workers’ compensation claims caused by motor vehicle crashes will decline.

National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) executive, State Eddinger, said to Insurance Journal that until now with the COVID-19 epidemic, motor vehicle accidents have been the only type of work injury that has been growing.  He said claims have gone up over time.  However, because of COVID-19, there is an expected downward pressure on workers’ compensation claims. 

Injuries from vehicle crashes cost on average of 80% to 100% more than all claims, thus, they are an important indicator for workers’ compensation insurers.  Motor vehicle accident claims accounted for 28% of claims above $500,000 but were only 5% of all claims.  According to NCCI, motor vehicle accidents also accounted for 40% of all workers’ compensation claims fatalities.; Lonce Lamonte, journalist/editor, adjustercom. 


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