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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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 …