Road death and injury involving vehicles driven for work purposes create a major financial and social burden for New Zealand society, and, of course, for New Zealand businesses. The bottom line is that all road crashes are preventable, so the costs those deaths and injuries generate are preventable too.
If you are injured on the roads, ACC will help pay for your medical costs and rehabilitation. Those costs are met by the ACC levies we pay through our vehicle registration fees and petrol tax. Through its levies, ACC seeks to recover only enough money to cover its costs, so if we reduce the number of road injuries, the levies we pay should reduce too.
Each year ACC receives around 40,000 claims for injuries from motor vehicle crashes on our roads (including non-work related crashes). That equates to 109 claims for every day of the year. While most of these do not require much treatment, in some cases the impact of the injuries last a lifetime. For around 100 people every year, their injuries are so severe they will require lifelong support from ACC, which can cost in excess of $20 million per person. It is these injuries that are behind much of the cost of the ACC levy.
The best way to reduce the levies you pay is to do your bit to reduce injuries. By using the resources available on this website, by having a safer fleet and encouraging others to be safer too, you could achieve some amazing results. Responsible drivers make our roads safer and reduce the burden we all have to bear.
Fleet Safety is aimed at saving lives and reducing levies by encouraging and educating fleet owners to improve their vehicle and driver safety. However, a continued focus on the welfare of your employees when not on the road can further avoid the human and business costs of workplace injuries, and improve productivity.
ACC is focused on road safety across several injury prevention programmes. They include encouraging fleet owners and private car owners to always buy the safest car they can (specifically with Electronic Stability Control and Side Curtain Airbags), raising awareness of driver fatigue for all drivers, and driving to the conditions (adjusting speed for the weather and/or road conditions). ACC also runs safety programmes and campaigns targeting motorcycle rider safety.
In addition, ACC runs injury prevention programmes focused on other common types of workplace injuries, including slips, trips and falls, and discomfort, pain and injury.
Fatigue is another significant issue, and is a common factor in road crashes too. Demanding and unpredictable schedules and irregular working hours can result in fatigue. Heavy manual work, noise and vibration can also contribute to fatigue, as well as other injuries such as discomfort, pain and injury and occupational noise induced hearing loss. Exposure to chemicals being transported and handling dangerous goods can also lead to occupational illnesses and respiratory illnesses.
For more injury prevention information, go to www.acc.co.nz. Remember, if we all do everything we can to reduce injuries – whether at work, at home or during recreation – we can cut the financial and human cost of injuries.