Let’s All Pull Together to Share the Roads
When children return to the classroom in this post-pandemic environment, traffic will ramp up again, particularly before the start of each school day and after the final bell rings. Employers can prepare by working with employees to promote safe driving habits to keep the walkways and roadways safe for pedestrians.
You’ve heard it said that sharing is caring, right? Well, if we pull together to share the roads, we can reverse a trend that has resulted in pedestrian traffic injuries and fatalities climbing to their highest levels in 30 years. In Texas, 717 pedestrians were killed in crashes in 2020, an 8.5% increase over 2019. That’s nearly two pedestrian fatalities every day, and keep in mind, many more pedestrians are treated in emergency rooms for non-fatal injuries.
Nearly half of pedestrian crash deaths across the U.S. involve alcohol for the driver and/or the pedestrian, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Many of these incidents occur at night and away from intersections.
During the day, everyone is a pedestrian at some point. People walk in their neighborhoods and through parking lots, and escort little ones to the bus before heading off to work. Everyone can benefit from a few simple safety reminders. Post these on a bulletin board at your workplace or share on your company’s intranet as part of a back-to-school pedestrian safety campaign:
- Slow down, obey traffic signs and signals
- Avoid distractions; silence your phone and set your GPS device before you depart
- Look out for children and other pedestrians, especially near intersections, parks and schools
- Don’t pass a stopped school bus
- Never drink and drive; impairment slows reaction time and affects judgment
- Walk on sidewalks and cross at intersections
- Put electronic devices away and stay alert
- Be visible at all times; wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials at night
- Watch for cars entering or exiting parking lots and driveways
- Know this: Alcohol and drugs lead to impairment and poor decisions by pedestrians and the drivers who share the road with them
What else can you do? Use our free Safety Huddle sheet to create a safety talk at your location. Visit our Training Center and encourage employees to play Distraction Action, an e-learning game sure to sharpen their safety focus. Get more pedestrian safety materials from the Texas Department of Transportation and NHTSA, including walking safely and driving safely videos.
As the saying goes, safety starts with “S” and begins with you!
Time is Ripe to Rethink Our Driving Habits
During the height of the pandemic, many who traveled considered open roads as an open invitation to speed and push safety limits. No doubt, a few stories in the news caught your attention, like the one involving three men who reportedly drove from New York to Los Angeles in under 27 hours. To cover that distance in that amount of time, they had to average more than 100 mph.
Speeding was one of the biggest contributing factors to the increase in traffic fatality rates even as vehicle miles driven decreased. Now, as traffic patterns return to normal, the question to ask yourself is this: How does that reckless open-road mindset translate to the present day?
What can employers do to promote safe driving behaviors? The answer: provide continuing education and ongoing safety training, and adopt safe driving policies to protect employees and their family members. Speeding (over the limit or unsafe speed) was a contributing factor in 37,549 crashes in Texas in 2020. That’s more than 10 crashes every day.
- Increases the force of impact on collision and therefore increases the severity of injuries
- Reduces time to react
- Increases stopping distance
Take action to drive change. Visit the Training Center page on our website and scroll to Driver Safety Games. Put your employees to the test with our new e-learning games:
- Distraction Action
- Driving Basics Bingo
- Impairment Jeopardy
- Night Owl
- Stat Attack (Family Feud-style game)
These six games are designed to increase engagement; “Speedway” focuses on issues related to speeding and aggressive driving. Research shows engaged employees often are safer employees, enjoy better overall health and are generally happier than those who are disengaged. Read/share: Why is Employee Engagement Important?
We also offer Driver Behavior Micro E-Learning modules on our Training Center page that cover:
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Impaired driving
- Passenger restraint
Micro-learning is the process of delivering bite-size content to users. Studies show this approach can increase retention rates and are more effective for those with a short attention span. You might want to make use of our e-learning modules in a five-week training session, then conclude with the final quiz. Point your employees to our user-friendly learning portal, where they can access all of our online courses. Can you provide incentives to those who ace the quiz?
One more idea to ramp up safety efforts at your workplace: Get our Safety Huddle sheet and deliver a ready-made safety talk (5-15 minutes):
Driving is risky, but understanding how to mitigate these risks will help keep your employees safe, both on and off the job.