Sight to Behold
Take a look around: How many employees at your organization are between 45 and 65 years old? Think your workforce is maturing? You are not alone. By 2024 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 41 million people age 55-and-over will be working and 13 million will be 65 or older. Here are some ways you can address common safety issues that confront many seasoned drivers.
Participate in Older Driver Safety Awareness Week (Dec. 2-6) by sharing these safe driving tips and helping your employees protect themselves, as well as their older loved ones:
- Get your vision tested at least once a year, and be wary of compromised night vision (a 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old, according to the American Optometric Association)
- Schedule a hearing test and be alert for sounds, such as sirens from emergency vehicles and bells ringing at railroad crossings
- Maintain consistent sleep habits (adults need seven to nine hours of sleep to avoid fatigue and reach peak performance levels)
- Consult with a doctor or pharmacist about how driving may be affected when taking medications
- Provide educational opportunities so drivers keep pace with new operating technologies in today’s vehicles.
You are your car’s best safety feature. However, nearly every car and truck on the road today has safety features that can help you be safer. Use tools from the National Safety Council and MyCarDoesWhat to bolster safety sessions:
- Automatic emergency braking: Senses slow or stopped traffic ahead and applies the brakes if the driver fails to respond. Watch: Quick guide video.
- Electronic stability control: Helps prevent loss of control in curves and during emergency steering maneuvers. Watch: Quick guide video.
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System: Warns you if your tires are under- or over-inflated, can help increase fuel economy and prevent tire blowouts. Watch: Quick guide video.
Finally, put your more seasoned employees to the test with this five-question survey from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S.A.A. Educational Foundation: If You’re An Older Driver: Assessing How Changes Can Affect Your Driving.
Last December, 64 people died on Texas roads in DUI-alcohol crashes . That’s about two every day. Let’s work together this year to drive that number to zero. One way to affect change is by providing consistent and ongoing educational efforts focusing on risks associated with drinking and driving.
The holidays are meant to be merry and bright. Too often, they turn tragic because of impaired-driving incidents. Alcohol affects a driver’s judgment, concentration and ability to quickly react, skills necessary for save driving. Drivers are not the only victims in drunk-driving crashes. In 2018, data from the Texas Department of Transportation shows:
- 136 people in vehicles NOT driven by a DUI driver were killed
- 133 passengers in vehicles driven by a DUI driver were killed
- 53 pedestrians and bicyclists were killed
Holiday parties are fun, to be sure. No one is suggesting you or your employees give up those special moments with friends, family members or co-workers. Rather, if you know you’re going out, plan ahead for a safe ride home. Appoint a designated driver. Hail a cab or use a ride-share service. Share these three tips to defend yourself from drunk drivers:
- Buckle up (every person, every seat, every time)
- Increase following distance
- Use caution at intersections
Raise awareness and engage employees with these free transportation safety resources:
Equip yourself to better help employees understand the importance of making safe driving choices. Attend Drug Impairment Training for Texas Employers. You will learn:
- How to educate employees on traffic safety to help reduce the number of alcohol- and drug-related incidents
- How to develop or improve a resource guide for drug policies, programs and practices within your company
This December, give the gift of safety.