Earlier this year, Robert Wunderlich, director of Texas A&M Institute’s Center for Transportation Safety, spoke about three high-risk driver behaviors, two high-risk crash types and three high-risk roadway user groups. Driver behavior and traffic-related crash trends affect employers every day, whether crashes occur on or off the job.
Nationally, three high-risk behaviors have contributed to double-digit surges in motor vehicle fatality rates during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Impaired driving
- Distracted driving
Because of quarantines, people are driving fewer miles, yet road users are confronted with greater risks. Research indicates there have been spikes in drug and alcohol use. People are worried about jobs, food, housing, their own health and the health of loved ones. Across the country, distractions, speeding and reckless driving behaviors have contributed to a rise in fatal crash rates.
Our Driving Concern offers free resources and training opportunities designed for you to easily incorporate safe driving behaviors into your driver and transportation safety programs. Providing ongoing education on risks associated with impaired driving can create a trickle-down effect. What’s learned at work often is carried home and can positively impact family members.
Here is a short list of impaired driving training opportunities and resources you can take advantage of:
- DITTE Deep Dive: These 90-minute virtual trainings explore the effects of cannabis, polydrugs, alcohol and inhalants in the workplace and how to mitigate risks. Attendees receive a certificate of course completion.
- Traffic Safety Huddle: Under the right circumstances, adult alcohol consumption is perfectly acceptable. As an employer, you might be thinking: What does it have to do with the workplace? The reality of drinking, driving, hangovers and the after-effects is covered in this five-minute safety talk: Blood Alcohol Content.
- BAC Test: Check out this timeline to understand how blood alcohol level can remain elevated long after a person has stopped drinking. Engage employees: It’s a Matter of Time.
- Go Live with Lisa: You might not have the means to create your own public service announcement. Not to worry. You are free to share my traffic safety videos during team meetings, on your video monitors or on social channels. Alcohol impairment is the focus here: Choose Safety.
- Simple as the ABCs: Impairment can be caused by medications, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Share this video message: Alcohol is Not Always the Root Cause of Impairment.
All of these tools can help you make safety the trend on our roads.
Scoot Over for Safety
Many alternative modes of public transportation are popular today, including motorized scooters. While scooters can be fun to ride and convenient for short trips, their rise in recent years has not come without safety concerns.
Across the nation, scooter riders have suffered broken bones and traumatic brain injuries from falls, striking pedestrians or fixed objects, and in collisions with vehicles. In my latest Live with Lisa video, I share tips to help scooter riders reduce risk:
- Go online and take a scooter safety course
- Avoid ear buds and cellphone use while riding to remain distraction-free
- Wear safety equipment such as a helmet, elbow and knee pads
- Wear bright clothing
I also touch on a few transportation safety basics you can share with your team: Scooter riders need to obey the rules of the road. Motorists and pedestrians should be extra-attentive when driving or walking in areas where scooter riders share the road:
- Pedestrians: Walk with your head up and scan for traffic
- Motorists: Check blind spots and slow down in congested areas
I would encourage you to go one step further to promote general health and transportation safety during this COVID-19 environment:
- Before departing, wash your hands
- Once you reach your destination, wash your hands again
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
No matter what mode of transportation you take, let safety lead. Remember, safety never sleeps.