NAFA's FLEETSolutions Finds Drugged Driving by Employees Carries Significant Hidden Liability Risks

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Release date: 8/30/2017

(PRINCETON, N.J. – August 30, 2017)NAFA Fleet Management Association, the vehicle fleet industry’s largest trade association, releases a report in its September 2017 issue of FLEETSolutions magazine identifying the significant liability faced by organizations whose employees engaged in drugged driving. Most notably, employers can be held liable for accidents involving employees who are under the influence of medication prescribed for work-related injuries.
The report finds that if an employee is found to be under the influence of drugs at the time he or she is involved in a crash, the organization could be:

  • Responsible for the driver’s addiction to opioids or prescription drugs because the addiction resulted from medication prescribed by a doctor for a workplace related injury
  • At risk for extended workers compensation costs if the driver requires medical treatment for the addiction or dependency.
  • Held responsible for the driver’s actions.
  • Held liable for damages resulting from the crash.
The article, "Fleet Faces Drugged Driving," offers insights from NAFA Past President Claude Masters, CAFM®; medical professionals Dr. Anupam B. Jena M.D., co-author of a New England Journal of Medicine study on the subject; Dr. Anna Lembke, author of the book “Drug Dealer M.D.”; and Colleen Carey, Assistant Professor of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University. Adding perspective on fleet's legal responsibilities and liabilities are Gail L. Gottehrer, Attorney and Partner with Akerman LLP; and John Cruickshank, Attorney with Alaniz & Schraeder LLP. 
“Rates of drug addiction have exploded across North America, and the medical community has determined that emergency room practices are a major contributing factor,” said Phillip E. Russo, CAE, NAFA’s Chief Executive Officer. “Drug addiction affects people from every walk of life, in every community, and the fleet and mobility profession cannot shy away from these implications.”
The September/October issue also includes an examination of the total cost of crashes, a look at programs that offer better driver training, five concerning trends in traffic safety as identified by the National Safety Council, and much more.
FLEETSolutions is developed to engage readership in the eight primary disciplines of fleet: Asset Management, Business Management, Financial Management, Fleet Information Management, Maintenance Management, Risk Management, Vehicle Fuel Management, and Professional Development. FLEETSolutions provides survey results on the most important topics in the fleet profession; the National Safety Council “Safety First” column, found in each issue; and profiles of the best and brightest in fleet management. A subscription to FLEETSolutions is a benefit of NAFA membership.
“Education and awareness are crucial to turning the tide of this drug epidemic,” said Russo. “It is part of NAFA’s mission to further this uncomfortable but necessary conversation wherever possible.”
NOTE TO EDITORS: Access to FLEETSolutions is password controlled on the NAFA website, however NAFA will provide a PDF of the full article to media upon request by contacting Donald Dunphy by email at or by phone: (609) 986-1063
About NAFA Fleet Management Association
NAFA Fleet Management Association is the trade organization for professionals who manage the mobility requirements and vehicle fleets of sedans, public safety vehicles, trucks, and buses of all types and sizes, and a wide range of military and off-road equipment for corporations, governments, universities, utility fleets, and law enforcement in North America and across the globe. NAFA’s members are responsible for the specification, acquisition, maintenance, repair, fueling, risk management, and remarketing of more than 4.6 million vehicles that drive an estimated 50 billion miles each year. NAFA’s members control assets and services well in excess of $100 billion each year.
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