The terrible toll also causes close to 330,000 injuries and costs employers more than $43 billion, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
To break it down further, on-the-job traffic crashes annually cost employers about $3.5 billion in property damage, $7.9 million in medical care and emergency service taxes, $17.5 billion for wage premiums, $4.9 billion for workplace disruption (to hire and train either new or temporary employees) and $8.5 billion in disability and life insurance costs.
The American Society of Safety Engineers recommends businesses take more responsibility to promote these safe driving techniques:
Increase public outreach to reinforce the fact that a driver's first responsibility is the safe operation of a vehicle - this includes school-based driver education, which has been drastically reduced the past few years.
Evaluate employers' current vehicle operation practices and create and enforce written guidelines addressing employee use of electronic devices while driving.
Proactively train employees about appropriate operation of electronic devices.
Increase research by the automotive industry and the manufacturers of electronic and other devices that are routinely used in vehicles to improve designs and functions to eliminate driver distractions.
Improve driver education - a significant component in securing safety on the roadways and in addressing the hazards of using cell phones while driving. Driver education should include training about eliminating or at least minimizing driver distractions and to show the extreme negative impact a slight distraction can have.