Canadian Underwriter

52% of American transportation firms surveyed worry about distracted driving: Travelers

September 26, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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More than 90% of American consumers surveyed by The Travelers Companies Inc. reported they were “at least somewhat” concerned by distracted driving, while more than half of business respondents reported the same concern, Travelers said in a report announced Monday.

Using a phone while driving a carIn the annual Travelers Risk Index, the New York City-based insurer, with Hart Research Associates, surveyed 1,001 consumers and 1,202 business owners and decision makers.

The survey began in 2013. In this year’s survey, more than 9 in 10 American consumers (92%) “are now at least somewhat concerned about distracted driving and 58% rate it as a major concern,” Travelers stated.

Of the business respondents, 493 were small (with two to 49 employees), 453 were mid-sized (with 50 to 999 employees) and 256 were large, with 1,000 or more employees.

Travelers broke down the results by industry.

In transportation, the percentage of respondents who “worry a great deal or some about this threatening my business” was: 60% for legal liability; 57% for fluctuations in oil/energy costs; 52% for distracted driving as a cause of accidents; 45% for risks related to extreme weather/natural disasters; and 45% for driving accidents caused by employees.

In banking and financial services 72% “worry a great deal or some” about cyber risks/data breaches threatening their business, Travelers stated in the report.

“Cyber attacks are a significant concern among consumers and business leaders as mobile devices, wearable technology, connected workspaces and smart homes become more common,” Travelers said in a release. “Half of consumers fear someone will gain unauthorized access to their personal information via smart devices. The report found that victims of a data breach or cyber attack – nearly one-quarter of consumers surveyed – say they have not since taken any greater precautions than those who have not experienced a breach.

With technology business respondents, 65% of respondents “worry a great deal or some” about cyber risk/data breaches threatening their business. More than half, or 51%, worried about protecting intellectual property/trade secrets while 42% worried about legal liability.

“Professional mistakes, including errors and omissions (39%), rank among the top legal liability risks for all businesses, followed closely by employee lawsuits alleging discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and other employment-related claims (36%),” Travelers said in the report. “Other legal liability concerns include driving accidents caused by employees (30% of all companies worry about this), and faulty products or products that harm customers (24% worry about this). As is the case for many types of risks, midsized and large businesses are more likely than small businesses to worry about specific legal liability risks.”

Within banking and financial services, 41% of respondents said they worry about global/political conflict and terrorism.

Among wholesalers, 55% reported they were worried about someone gaining access to company bank accounts or financial control systems while nearly half (49%) were worried about distracted driving.

Among respondents in manufacturing, 51% said they worry about supply chain risk.

Severe weather is a “shared worry,” for business and consumer respondents, “with a majority of consumers and business leaders believing it is becoming more frequent across the country,” Travelers said. “Thirty-nine percent of consumers and 33 percent of business leaders indicate that they believe damage to their property is more likely to occur.”

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