Impact of a Crash is Like…

Did you wear your seat belt when you drove to work today? If you had passengers, did they all buckle up?

Watch this 60-second video about the impact during a car crash.

Will you wear your seatbelt on the drive home today?

Seat belts:

  • Protect drivers and passengers by helping absorb the force of a crash.
  • Keep occupants from being ejected in a crash, a frequent cause of death when people aren’t properly secured.
  • Hold the driver in place so he or she can better control the vehicle.

Increase the odds of surviving a serious crash.

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Know the Odds of Passenger Restraints…

An estimated 9% of Texans are not buckling up, and nearly 1,000 Texans killed in car crashes were known to not be properly restrained in 2014 (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

 

  • Let’s watch this 40-second video of the impact a seat belt can make.

    • Now imagine four close friends or family members in your car with you. Drivers and passengers who buckle up are 45% less likely to die and 50% less likely to be moderately injured in a motor vehicle crash. Do you want to play the odds with your family or friends? (Didn’t think so!)
    • How many of you own or take frequent rides in a pickup truck? Seat belt use is the lowest for pickup trucks among all types of vehicles. In fatal crashes, pickups roll over almost twice as often as passenger cars!

    Conclusion: Seat belts—including child safety seats—are the least expensive and most effective way to save lives and reduce the severity of injuries. Do EVERYTHING you can, and buckle up!

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Backing Up Can Bust You Up

Driving a car backwards is a practiced skill!

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2008 to 2011, an average of 41% of non-occupant traffic injuries were caused by a car backing up into someone.
  • The use of safe vehicle backing tips by employers and employees can help prevent accidents while on the job.

What do you do when backing up, to make sure you don’t hit something?

How do you improve your skill at backing up a vehicle?

Here are some tips!

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Out of the Way of Trains

One modern train engineer recently stated, “There are two types of train engineers—those who have hit someone on the tracks—and those who will.”

Why would he say that? Think about it for a moment, and put yourself in his place.

Here’s why:

  • Train engineers know the extreme distance it takes to bring a hulking moving train to a complete stop.
  • A train going 50 miles per hour needs a mile and a half to stop.
  • With that knowledge, engineers know they cannot do anything to prevent a crash in many cases.
  • In a collision with a train, you are 40 times more likely to be killed than if you were in a collision with another car.

Remember these tips while driving near railroad crossings:

  • Reduce speed when approaching crossings and look both ways.
  • Turn down your stereo and listen for a train.
  • If red lights are flashing or if crossing arms have been lowered, stop.
  • Never stop on the tracks.
  • Be sure ALL tracks are clear before crossing—there may be more than one set of tracks.
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Painkillers on the Job

Enough prescription painkillers were provided in 2010 to medicate every American around the clock for an entire month.

CONCLUSION: This means that at any given time, many employees may be using prescription painkillers on the job.

workplace_risks_of_painkiller_use

  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports the number of prescription medicine abusers in 2014 was 6.5 million.
  • Be alert to potential drug use and abuse in the workplace, and use the channels provided by your employer to get help for yourself or a coworker.
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The Two Faces of Prescription Drugs

Prescription medications are helpful in the right doses, at the right time, and when the user is aware of all potential side effects.

  • What’s the other side of prescription medication?

the_two_faces_of_prescription_meds

  • Dependency and then addiction can occur, especially to pain medication.
  • Abuse can occur, especially with pain medication. The abuser can be the person who holds the prescription, or someone in the household who is stealing the medication for recreational use.
    • The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports the number of prescription medicine abusers in 2014 was 6.5 million.
    • Several factors have contributed to the severity of prescription drug abuse, including: drastic increases in the number of prescriptions written, greater social acceptance of using medications, and aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies.
  • Potential overdoses are a risk associated with any prescription medication.
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How Much is Too Much?

How much alcohol is too much?

ANSWER

There is no single answer to this question that applies to everyone.

  • Your gender, body weight, the number and types of drinks you’ve consumed, and the amount of food you’ve eaten all affect your body’s ability to process alcohol.
  • Women, young people and small people become impaired with small amounts of alcohol.
  • In Texas, drivers are legally intoxicated and can be arrested and charged with a DWI with a .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Commercial drivers are legally intoxicated and can be arrested and charged with a DWI with a .04 blood alcohol concentration. However – driving ability can be impaired below the legal alcohol limit.
  • Even if a driver registers less than the legal limit, an arrest still can be made based on the observations of the officer during a roadside sobriety check.
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Drowsy Driving Accidents

Where do the majority of drowsy-driving crashes occur?

  1. On dark rural highways with little to no street lighting.
  2. On highways and major roadways with speed limits of 55 to 65 mph.
  3. On urban highway exchanges with several lanes and exits.

ANSWER: 2.

  • Drowsy-driving crashes more often take place on highways and major roadways with speed limits of 55 to 65 mph.
  • Fall-asleep crashes are likely to be serious.
  • The majority of drowsy-driving crashes involve drivers alone in the vehicle.
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Happy Hour

Happy Hour should be just that—happy. But not if you drive afterwards. (Unless you have an extra $17,000 sitting in your bank account.)

How much does it cost you if you’re convicted of a driving while intoxicated offense?

  • Think broadly to include not only the fines and court costs, but lost work time, increased auto insurance premiums, travel to court appearances, etc.

See if you can identify the different costs while watching this video:

DWI and crashes due to alcohol are costly—very costly!

  • Penalties for a first-time DWI conviction in Texas can include up to a $2,000 fine, jail time between 3 days and 180 days, a license suspension for up to 2 years, an annual surcharge up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license, DWI intervention or education program, and a possible order for an ignition interlock device. Legal fees and other DWI-related expenses often total more than $17,000.
  • Alcohol and DWI problems don’t just affect young people. Rather it affects everyone in the life of the affected person—including the person’s colleagues and employer.
  • It takes help, support, and at times, intervention to ensure that colleagues, friends and loved ones don’t drive under the influence.
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What Contributes to Aggressive Driving?

What factors contribute to aggressive drivers’ behavior?

  • Take 60 seconds to list all reasons you can think of for a driver to behave aggressively.

Three factors can contribute to aggressive driving behavior on Texas roads.

ONE. Lack of responsible driving behavior

  • On the road, the focus often is on individual rights and freedom, not on responsibility to other people with whom we share the road.

TWO. Reduced levels of enforcement

  • During tougher economic times many jurisdictions tend to cut back on traffic enforcement due to budget constraints.

THREE. More travel and congestion, especially in urban areas

  • From 2002 through 2013, the number of miles driven in the United States has increased by 5%, while the number of miles of available roads has increased only by 2.5%.
  • Some motorists find themselves responding to the frustrations of driving in high-density traffic areas by acting aggressively.
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