IC Safety from Protective Insurance Company
July 2013 An exclusive publication for Protective's independent contractors
Navigating around motor vehicle collisions
Every day, you negotiate traffic and try to avoid collisions with other vehicles on the road. But collisions do happen and they account for 12% of all injuries and 26% of all injury costs for independent contractors. In order to avoid injuries, you must examine the collision cause factors that may have led to it and educate yourself accordingly on prevention techniques. You can do the same with injuries that are not the result of a collision.
1. Conduct a post-collision analysis to identify the actual, remote, early and direct cause factors of the collision. For example, if you were involved in a rear-end collision, some questions to ask yourself include:
a. Were you following too closely?
b. Were you distracted?
c. Were you fatigued?
d. Were you in a rush because the load was late?
e. Did poor road, weather, lighting or equipment conditions impact your ability to drive safely? Some people will lay the blame of their collision on one of these conditions. However, as a professional driver, it is your responsibility to adjust driving behavior to properly address these conditions so they do not cause a loss.
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you need to examine why each of those conditions existed. This will help you to get down to the root cause of the loss. Download our post-collision analysis worksheet >>
2. Once you have determined the cause, educate yourself on preventing future accidents. Protective offers more than 70 online lessons that provide interactive training in defensive driving, hours of service, CSA, worker injury prevention and more.
3. Examine your route and, if necessary, modify it to reduce driving in areas with high collision exposure. As part of your pre-trip preparation, check the road conditions to determine if there are areas of heavy traffic congestion so you can prepare for the conditions or choose an alternate route.
4. Talk with your physician about any medical conditions that may have contributed to the accident, such as poor eyesight or fatigue, and discuss possible treatments that will eliminate the condition or reduce its impact on your driving.
Based on the losses filed with Protective Insurance Company, the following are primary reasons collisions and injuries occur:
• Following too closely
• Poor defensive driving skills while approaching intersections
• Other vehicles running red lights or stop signs and striking vehicles, frequently T-bone collisions
• Hit head-on or rear-ended by other drivers
• Struck by other drivers while you are loading or unloading in the back of the vehicle
• Falling asleep behind the wheel
• Hitting patch of ice or black ice
• Losing control on sharp curve, going off road
• Avoiding animals in road
• Falling out of a package delivery vehicle with the door open because your seat belt is not buckled
• Being thrown around the cab during collision because you aren't wearing a seat belt
Download our free handout listing the most common causes of injury to independent contractors and how they may occur.


Free online training available
You are eligible to recieve lessons from Protective! More than 70 online lessons are available to provide interactive training in defensive driving, hours of service, CSA, worker injury prevention and more. Learn more >>