Telecommute Protection Estimate equation... (began 2/16/99)

by Rick Johnson

Telecommuting Safety & Health Benefits Institute



Based on the following formulation approximately 220,000

people could be spared from death or injury each year in the

USA, if 50% of the commuting population telecommuted,

instead (bounding case). While this formulation of the

telecommute protection estimate is relatively simplistic

it nonetheless contains some of the elements necessary

to initiate a techinical inquiry of all the parameters that

would be contained in a complete equation.


P-pbt = P-de + P-ie, (1-1)


where P-pbt = People protected by telecommuting

P-de = People protected from "direct events"

P-ie = People protected from "indirect events"


P-de = T-p + C-p + O-p (1-2)


where T-p = Potential Telecommuters protected

C-p = Commuters protected

O-p = Others (pedestrians, bicyclers, tourists, errand runners,

emergency workers, highway workers, etc.) protected


P-ie = P-lc + P-lsiv + P-lsihe (1-3)


where P-lc = People protected due to less highway congestion

(because EMTs, Fire personnel, police response improved)

P-lsiv = People protected due to less stress-induced violence

(during or after commutes)

P-lsihe = People protected due to less stress-induced health





P-pbt = P-de + P-ie

= T-p + C-p + O-p + P-lc + P-lsiv + P-lsihe (1-4)



T-p = F-t (P-kc + P-ic)/100 (1-5)


where T-p = Potential Telecommuters protected

P-kc = People killed while commuting

P-ic = People injured while commuting

F-t = percentage of people who could be telecommuting, if

allowed/encouraged by employers



T-p Rough (worst-case) Estimate: P-kc = 40,000; P-ic = 400,000;

F-t = 50% -

T-p = 50 (40,000 + 400,000)/100 = 220,000 potential telecommuters

saved from death or injury per year in the USA!


This is my own personal estimate assuming that an additional 50% of

the commuting trips presently made could be avoided, if people used

telecommuting instead. It is not unreasonable to assume that people

could reduce their commutes in half by taking advantage of home-based

telecommunications to accomplish the desired task and/or by

consolodating trips to accomplish more activities in a single journey.


More work is required to develop this formulation before it can

fully represent the state of the telecommuting safety space that

exists today. The author acknowledges there may be many more

factors not yet included in these equations.


©99-00, Rick Johnson, Telecommuting Safety & Health Benefits Institute
HC73 - Box 953, Buchanan Road, Burns, Oregon 97720 USA
Last revised: March 25, 2000
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