A two-second task is one of the least expensive and most effective ways for Texas employers to reduce costs associated with crashes. By promoting seat belt use, you save lives and you save money. In 2016, 43.7% of people killed on state roads were not restrained when the fatal crash occurred, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. One, two: buckle your …
Vehicle safety features are really important. Many of us tend to look at technology – and advanced driver assistance systems – with a bit of nervous trepidation. There is a learning curve that comes with all new gadgets. And what if you can’t remember what safety features are on your car or truck?
Typically, when you buy a vehicle, the salesperson will walk you through all the features and demonstrate how they work. All well and good, right? What happens a day or two later when you don’t remember what you learned?
I can tell you my car has many features that I have not fully explored yet. In fact, I will tell on myself.
Accidents often occur by chance or without apparent or deliberate cause. Crashes typically are the result of driver error. Incidents involving distracted, drunk, drugged and drowsy driving have led to a surge in crashes across America. All can be linked to behavior choices. Our Driving Concern Senior Program Manager Lisa Robinson suggests you point out that not-so-subtle difference when talking with employees about the importance of traffic safety.
A: The short answer is, “No.” The training equips you to go back to your company and incorporate transportation safety in an on-going manner. The goal is to provide you with assistance to promote safe driving behaviors. Crashes, whether they occur on or off the job, are costly for any organization.
Moving forward, this training most likely will get a new name and simply be called “Our Driving Concern Training” instead of the current title, Train-the-Trainer, due to the confusion it seems to cause. The training is simply that – training.
This message rings loud and clear in a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association — Drug-Impaired Driving: A Guide for States. GHSA said drugs were found in 43% of drivers tested in fatal crashes vs. 37% in alcohol-involved fatal crashes.
What you need to know is drugs – including the over-the-counter variety and prescription medications – can impact your employees’ ability to work and can impact your bottom line. In the case of driving, drugs can compromise concentration, judgment and reaction time.
In Texas, there were 3,337 crashes involving drivers under the influence of drugs in 2015, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. A closer look at the data indicates there were 222 fatal drug crashes, 289 crashes involving incapacitating injuries and 611 crashes involving non-incapacitating injuries.
What’s the cost to a Texas employer? The National Safety Council has created a tool for you to use and find the answer: Substance Use Cost Calculator for Employers. It’s free and it’s easy to use. You plug in your workplace location, the type of business or industry you are in and the number of employees in your organization.
With that information, a report is generated that you can present to your executive leadership team. At your workplace, you may want to expand drug testing panels to include commonly prescribed medications. Further, you can protect your employees, your organization and your community by working to promote traffic safety and drawing attention to drugged-impaired driving.
- Learn about Bill: He was injured at work, overdosed at home.
- Print and post: Impaired Drivers Are Dangerous Drivers
- Attend: Drugged Driving in Texas: Trends, Public Opinion and Enforcement
Prescription Drugs Can Put You at Risk Behind the Wheel
Can you identify four common workplace risks associated with prescription painkiller use? How about your employees? While you are out in the field, pull your team together and share these answers from Painkillers on the Job at your next Tailgate Talk.
Taking prescription drugs can lead to risks for those:
- Driving vehicles (commuting to-and-from work or while on the job)
- Operating machinery/equipment
- Making critical assessments
- Handling tasks that require focus and concentration (pace diminishes and productivity declines)
One study indicated enough prescription painkillers were provided in 2010 to medicate every American around the clock for an entire month. So, at any given time, some of your employees may be using prescription drugs and may be subject to these risks.
Next, talk about The Two Faces of Prescription Drugs. Yes, prescription medications are helpful taken in the right doses, at the right times, and when users are aware of potential side effects.
What is the flip side? Taking prescription drugs for long periods of time can lead to:
- Addiction, especially to pain medication
- Abuse, particularly with pain medications and when drugs falls into the wrong hands
Every day, 60 people die from opioid pain medications, according to research from the National Safety Council. Just as alarming: 70% of people who have abused prescription painkillers reported getting them from friends or relatives.
Watch: The story of an Oklahoma Wonder Woman who “coded” twice after being hit head-on by a drugged driver and recently celebrated her third “re-birthday.”
NSC provides a free kit you can download to Make Your Workplace Opioid Free.
When it comes to seat belts, who are the risk-takers? Our Driving Concern Sr. Program Manager Lisa Robinson looks at the research. She says those who refuse to buckle up are playing a game of traffic safety roulette — and that game is costly to employers in Texas.
Our Driving Concern Sr. Program Manager Lisa Robinson works to help employers drive down costs and reduce liability exposure by incorporating traffic safety into their workplace safety culture. She wants Texas employers to know free training opportunities and free resources are one click away. Visit: txdrivingconcern.org
Our Driving Concern Sr. Program Manager Lisa Robinson points out driver behavior — and driver error — is a contributing factor in about 94% of crashes. The most typical errors include:
- Missing road hazards or detecting them too slowly
- Choosing the incorrect defensive driving action
- Driving in a distracted or altered state, such as having inadequate sleep, being distracted by a phone or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Buckle your seat belt, wash your hands. These are examples of healthy habits that easily can be accomplished is less than one minute. You don’t think much about either one because you are in the habit of doing both.
Q: Have you thought about incorporating traffic safety into your regular workplace safety culture in a similar fashion? By making traffic safety a habit?
A: No? Why not? You can reduce risks, prevent injuries and save lives at your organization through your educational efforts. Make it a habit to talk about traffic safety. You don’t have to talk forever. Often, one or two minutes will do. Just make your efforts consistent and ongoing. Include non-verbal messaging, too. Hang posters in the breakroom and on bulletin boards. Affix window-clings in your company vehicles and place our Toilet Tabloids in your bathrooms.
Our Driving Concern Sr. Program Manager Lisa Robinson explains distracted driving is anything that diverts your attention away from the task at hand, driving. Manual distractions: eating, drinking, grooming. Cognitive distractions: talking on your phone (handheld and hands-free) or daydreaming.