Richmond, VA – More than 25 percent of all motor vehicle crashes involve the use of a cell phone. That was the message provided by David Teater of the National Safety Council at the Where the Rubber Meets the Road (WTRMTR) banquet held Wednesday, March 16 at The Place at Innsbrook.
Teater, senior director of transportation initiatives, was the keynote speaker at the event held to recognize 17 Virginia local governmental entities for their efforts at promoting defensive driving through the WTRMTR campaign.
“WTRMTR began in 2010 to address the number one cause of occupational fatalities – motor vehicle crashes,” said VML Insurance Programs (VMLIP) Director of Safety Services Beth Rosenthal. “At the time, automobile losses also accounted for about half of all claims coming into VMLIP.”
Defensive driving courses are key toward providing strategies to reduce collision-related injuries, fatalities and costs. The award-winning WTRMTR campaign requires participating members to provide VMLIP-approved defensive driving training to at least 90 percent of all of their drivers within the first year of joining the campaign. Every year thereafter 50 percent of all drivers must receive instructional driver training.
By meeting this goal, the entity not only lowers their insurance costs in terms of reducing risk, but also receives a five percent credit on their auto coverage through the pool.
Since the program began more than 39,000 Virginia local government drivers have received instruction on defensive driving techniques – including the risks of driving distracted. As a result, loss ratios among the first members to participate in the campaign have decreased by more than 50 percent.
“We provide the initial train-the-trainer instruction to members, as well as all of the materials they will need to achieve their goals,” said Rosenthal.
That includes access to driving simulators, powered by Drive Square. The simulators allow trainees to practice various driving scenarios using the controls of their actual vehicle. VMLIP staff showcased the simulators at the banquet. They will be rolled out over the next several months for WTRMTR instructors to use in their classes.
WTRMTR was created with financial support from VMLIP liability reinsurance carrier CHUBB.
A full listing of all Virginia local governmental entities who met their first year training goal, see the banquet booklet here. For more information on the campaign visit the VMLIP website at: www.vmlins.org and select “resources.”
VML Insurance Programs is a nonprofit group self insurance program providing automobile, property, liability and workers’ compensation coverage to more than 460 local political subdivisions across Virginia. For more than 35 years VML Insurance Programs has provided pool members with superior financial stability and effective risk management services. For more information visit: www.vmlins.org or follow VMLIP at: www.facebook.com/vmlip.