CEI: 2014 Fleet Driver Fatalities Highest in Six Years, Showing Need for More Effective Safety Programs

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The highest number of fleet driver traffic fatalities in six years last year demonstrates the urgent need for more effective accident prevention programs, Wayne Smolda, CEO and founder of the CEI Group, Inc. said today.

Wayne Smolda, founder and CEO of the CEI Group, Inc.

Crash avoidance technology won't be able to intervene with every kind of driver behavior. The key is systems that change driver behavior . -- Wayne Smolda

The highest number of fleet driver traffic fatalities in six years last year demonstrates the urgent need for more effective accident prevention programs, Wayne Smolda, CEO and founder of the CEI Group, Inc. said today.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2014, released earlier this month, shows that 835 fleet sales and truck drivers died in traffic accidents last year, the highest number since 2008, which saw 815 fatalities for the same occupation. The bureau’s archives also reveal that the 2014 figure represents a 42% increase over the 586 fleet drivers killed in 2009, an increase Mr. Smolda called “shocking”.

“Just as disturbing was the increase in the rate of fleet driver fatalities, which shows that the increase isn’t only because there are more drivers on the road,” said Mr. Smolda. The 2014 traffic fatality rate was 23.4 per 100,000 sales and truck drivers, compared to 22.6 per 100,000 in 2008, an increase of 2.6%.

Mr. Smolda noted that the higher fatality rate may be attributed to three factors that bode poorly for future fleet accident rates and fatalities: traffic congestion, deteriorating road quality and increasing levels of driver distraction, conditions he said are likely to get worse in coming years.

“Fleets need more than ever to do more to prevent accidents,” he said. “Crash avoidance technology will help, but it won’t be able to intervene with every kind of driver error. The key is to adopt systems that track, monitor and change driver behavior, so drivers change their habits and avoid making errors in the first place.”

About CEI

As the fleet industry’s foremost provider of fleet driver management services, CEI combines technology-enhanced vehicle accident, driver safety and fleet programs that reduce accident-related costs.

Its provider network consists of some 4,000 collision repair shops throughout the United States and Canada, and includes nearly 1,000 truck collision repair centers. Its customers include self-insured, commercial, and institutional and government fleets, directly and through alliances with fleet leasing companies. CEI also provides vehicle direct repair program outsourcing to leading property and casualty insurance companies.

Founded in 1983, CEI has headquarters near Philadelphia, PA, and field sales offices in Trevose, PA, Tulsa, OK, Atlanta, GA, and Minneapolis, MN. In 2000, CEI launched its DriverCare™ solution, which includes fleet risk management, MVR ordering and compliance, on-line and behind-the-wheel driver safety training and a safety newsletter. For more information about CEI, please visit ceinetwork.com

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Mark Boada
@CollisionMax
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