March 2017 Safety Coach: Address Driver Behavior with a Work Challenge

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If you ever have wondered why people say nothing good happens late at night, consider this:

In Texas, more fatal crashes occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. than at any other time of the day. What about crash frequency during the week? Or in a given month of the year?

Can you guess the three deadliest days on state roads? If you guessed Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you would be correct and you probably would not be surprised. But did you know the month of March is full of madness?

To be clear, this has nothing to do with a crazy finish to an even crazier basketball game. Rather, it has everything to do with spring break and the three leading causes of traffic fatalities – alcohol, distraction and speeding. I see the light bulb going off as you process this information.

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March 2017 Newsletter: Identify Risks, Plan for Traffic Safety Solutions & You Can Have Last Laugh


Our Driving Concern Program Manager Lisa Robinson speaks to issues and concerns all employers face when trying to make their workforce safe on the road:

For more than 30 years, comedian David Letterman entertained late-night TV audiences with his Top Ten lists. He poked fun at everybody and everything. And rare was the occasion when viewers didn’t crack a smile.

For Letterman, the zany antics began with his “Top Ten Things That Almost Rhyme with Peas” in September 1985. For me, a top 10 list is a more grounded tool I roll out on occasion when speaking to groups about traffic safety. I use a Letterman-style reverse countdown to highlight why a back-to-basics approach often is best.

Q: Will I catch anyone laughing during one of my talks?

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January 2017 Newsletter: Change Your Vocabulary: Save the Word ‘Accident’ for Potty Training

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Our Driving Concern Program Manager Lisa Robinson speaks to issues and concerns all employers face when trying to make their workforce safe on the road:

Accident is a word we all use. Most often the connotation is that of, “oops.”Potty training

Q: Do you think “oops” captures the tone and feel of a traffic crash?

A: No? Then, now is the time to change your vocabulary and your messaging at your workplace. “Oops” sounds like what a parent might say to a child who did not quite make it to the bathroom on time during those potty training days.

More than 90% of traffic crashes are the result of driver error – and are preventable. Distracted, drugged, drunk and drowsy driving are some of the issues that have led to a spike in traffic crashes across America. The National Safety Council estimates traffic fatalities rose 9% in the first half of 2016. And that estimate followed on the heels of an 8% increase from 2014 to 2015.

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December 2016 Newsletter: Play Santa: Give the Gift of Traffic Safety During the Holiday Season

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Our Driving Concern Program Manager Lisa Robinson speaks to issues and concerns all employers face when trying to make their workforce safe on the road:

Don’t let getting busted for drunk driving become one of your holiday memories.

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That message is shared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a part of its holiday season drunk driving prevention campaign.

Q: What can Texas employers do to spread the word? Why is it important for them to do so?

A: When employers make transportation safety a part of their daily culture of safety, they can save money and save lives. Texas employers spend more than $3 billion every year as a result of on and off the job traffic crash injuries and fatalities. Eating and drinking are a part of holiday merriment. Holiday travel turns deadly because so many drunk drivers are on the road.

During the 2014-2015 holiday season (Dec. 1, 2014, to Jan. 1, 2015), Texas Department of Transportation crash data indicates there were:

  •  2,411 alcohol-related traffic crashes, resulting in 190 serious injuries and 110 fatalities

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May 2016 Safety Coach: Gym is the Place to Take Out Aggressions, Not the Road

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You hear it almost every day: I’m running late.

In Texas and across America, busy people are always playing a game of catch-up. The game spins out of control when it spills onto roadways and motorists engage in unsafe driving behaviors, including aggressive driving.Angry driver

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines aggressive driving as an act that occurs when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.”

Aggressive driving is traffic offense. This differs from road rage, which is a criminal offense characterized by willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others. Employers need to recognize both because of the number of collisions that occur every year and how those collisions impact their bottom line.

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April 2016 Newsletter: Deliver a Consistent Traffic Safety Message to Young & Old Alike

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Our Driving Concern Program Manager Lisa Robinson speaks to issues and concerns all Texas employers face when trying to make their workforce safe on the road:

Question: How often should I discuss traffic safety with my employees? Do I focus my attention on new, less-seasoned employees and drivers? Or more experienced members of my workforce?

Houston Fwy traffic 10 Interstate in Texas USA US
Houston freeway traffic

Answer: Those are great questions and really are the key to developing an effective messaging plan. To find answers, let’s start with this: Working to reinforce positive driving behaviors and to promote a culture of traffic safety are ideals that are increasingly becoming the norm with Texas employers.  Messages should be all-inclusive, recognizing that everyone on occasion can benefit from a refresher on how to safely navigate through intersections or an introduction to backing basics as well as company policies related to backing up. Backing up is one issue most of the employers I have visited with seem to share a concern about.

Let’s look at Texas Department of Transportation statistics: Taking individuals ranging from age 19 to 33, data shows an average of 124.3 drivers were involved in fatal crashes for each age group in 2014. At age 20, the number of drivers in incapacitating injury crashes topped out at 690. For those between the ages of 40-55, the average number of drivers in fatal crashes was 76.6. Lower, but still significant. Still tragic.

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March 2016 Newsletter: Sorting Through Mixed Messages of Distracted Driving

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Our Driving Concern Program Manager Lisa Robinson speaks to the issues and concerns all Texas employers face when trying to make their workforce safe on the road.

Question: How do you make heads or tails out of new vehicle technologies and distracted driving?Understanding the Distracted Brain

Answer: Knowledge is power.

Survey says: Most people are unaware of the cognitive distractions associated with using the hands-free and voice control features that come standard today in many newer vehicles. In fact, in a poll conducted by the National Safety Council, 80% of respondents said they believe hands-free devices are safer than handheld, and 53% said that voice control features are safer because they’re provided in vehicles. Because they’re provided? Hmm …

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