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April 2020 Newsletter: When You’re Distracted, Who’s Driving?

8 Ways to Make a Difference

COVID-19 has created a new workplace environment for many – as well as a sense of apprehension. If you are anxious, there are ways to deal with your feelings like taking breaks from the news and eating healthy foods. But you also can commit to making the most of distance-learning opportunities.

For example, seize the moment to build on your safety skills and educate your employees on distracted driving safety issues. The goal is safer driving behaviors that keep your employees safe and decrease your organization’s risk. Start with my four safety tips that can be shared any time of the year:

  • Silence your phone or stow it in the glove box. Alternatively, find a safe place to pull over and make or receive a call.
  • Calls and texts aren’t the only things that can distract drivers. Avoid eating and reaching for items in your car while driving, which can divert your attention and result in incidents such as drifting from your lane.
  • Set a good example. Check your mirrors, set your music and program your GPS device while in park.
  • Speak up. If you are a passenger and see something, say something. Your life may depend on it.

Responding to texts or taking work calls while driving is dangerous and can be deadly.

Here are four more ways to increase your education and engagement efforts when your employees return to regular work routines:

All of these safety strategies can be implemented in person or during a remote meeting. Promoting safe driving behaviors is a collective job. Adopting – or strengthening – a safe driving policy is another strategic way for employers to address real or perceived pressure employees feel about remaining in constant communication with clients, colleagues or family members.

Safety is not just for the workplace – it’s for anyplace. Take your time driving. Keep yourself, your passengers and all those around you safe on the road.

Learn what key ingredients belong in your transportation safety program.

Judge Your Cake by the Icing on Top

“What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?” You’ve heard those questions. They are commonly asked during job interviews. What are the key elements of a successful transportation safety program? I am asked that question often.

I’ll use this analogy to answer in a way I think will help you secure buy-in and participation on all levels at your organization. Just as you need flour, sugar and eggs to bake a cake, you need a few basic ingredients to build a transportation safety program. Start with policies that:

  • Address driving behaviors such as seat belt use, impaired driving and distracted driving
  • Are understood by your employees
  • Are enforced and not sitting on the shelf gathering dust
  • Are reviewed annually

Provide regular safety briefings, education and training opportunities. Communication efforts must be consistent and on-going and must be shared with 100% of your employees. If you have heard me speak, you may remember me using a PowerPoint slide featuring an apple pie and a pumpkin pie. The point I make is that communication varies and is best when it takes on the look and feel of an apple pie, oozing with juices and all-encompassing. Your efforts should not stand up like a pumpkin pie in a rigid form and be of the one-and-done variety.

Just as you would not use a screwdriver when the job calls for a hammer, you need to stock your safety box with the right tools for your workplace environment. The recipe for success will differ from one organization to the next. I am happy to assist you in building a transportation safety program or updating an existing program. Email me: Lisa.Robinson@nsc.org. Or give me a call: 512-466-7383.

Watch and share: Cook Up Your Own Recipe for Safety Success.

Get tools you can use: Explore our free resources.

Think of yourself as a culinary safety artist. You will create a more successful transportation safety program when you add all the best ingredients, no matter what you are baking.

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