December 2020 Newsletter: Drive with a Reason During the Holiday Season

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Let Go of Yesterday

G-O-A-L: Get Out And Look!

A new year will be here before you know it. Be sure to start it with new ideas and a renewed focus on driver and transportation safety.

Let us help you get those creative transportation safety juices flowing. Use our Traffic Safety Huddle sheets to build regular, five-minute safety talks. Spend a few minutes during team meetings, or any meeting for that matter, discussing driver and road safety. You will build a stronger transportation safety program that empowers employees to make responsible choices behind the wheel. On each sheet, we cover topics such as backing up basics, drowsy driving and intersections – all areas where we tend to become complacent. Striking fixed objects is one conversation I hear from employers over and over.

In many workplace situations, annual driver training sessions are standard. Adding ongoing traffic safety talks is a manageable way to build your driver and transportation safety culture while reinforcing valuable lessons learned in annual trainings. This additional step can lead to long-lasting benefits, such as reduced preventable or at-fault crash incidents, reduced bent metal costs, decreased exposure to liability and more.

Here are a few back-over prevention tips from our Traffic Safety Huddle you can use in an upcoming safety minute. Be sure to download this free resource:

  • Choose easy-exit parking spaces that don’t crowd neighboring vehicles, and park your vehicle in the center of the space. Park away from entrances, exits and other cars whenever possible.
  • Pull through, or back in when parking in a lot or alley that doesn’t permit driving all the way through.
  • Walk all the way around your vehicle to get a firsthand view of the backing area and any limitations. Check for children, soft or muddy areas, potholes, tire hazards and other items of concern. Begin backing directly after your walk-around.
  • Never rely solely on rear-view cameras. The lenses can get dirty and do not always pick up low-lying objects.
  • Back up slowly, and continually check to the rear and the sides of the vehicle.

What tips can you think of that would help drivers back up safely? Email your suggestions to ourdriving.concern@nsc.org. We’ll share best-practices via our social channels and send you our newly updated 360 window clings as a thank you!  Employers do the best job providing tips for other employers to utilize, and we appreciate you sharing yours!

Safety talks need not be lengthy to be effective. They merely need to occur in a consistent and ongoing fashion. Research shows people often need to see or hear a message seven times before it sinks in. So, as you plan for safety in the new year, plan on making use of all of our tools and resources. Think of us as your safety sidekick!

Is this the year to host a Zoom party?

Get on Santa’s Safety List

Lisa Robinson serves mocktails.

Once we’ve gobbled up all of the turkey and put Thanksgiving in our rearview mirror, we’re on to full holiday mode, right? You’re thinking: When and where is the next gathering? You should also be thinking about safety. Is this the year to host a Zoom party?

Join us for free, online learning sessions and gain insights from experts on how to keep yourself, your family and your employees safe during the hustle and bustle that goes with an ordinary holiday season, let alone one that comes with all the trappings of a COVID-19 environment:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 9 (10-10:45 a.m.): Impaired Driving: Emerging Trends and the Occupational Arena. The occupational arena and impaired driving meet up in ways we wish they wouldn’t. Detective Mike Jennings of the Austin Police Department will share emerging trends and provide details to help all of us improve safety on our roadways and in the workplace.
  • Thursday, Dec. 10 (2-3:30 p.m.): Company Holiday Parties: What Employers Need to Know: Company-sponsored events can pose liability issues. Curtis Johnson, vice president of claims operations with Texas Mutual Insurance Company, will share what employers should consider when planning formal and informal gatherings to reduce employer liability exposure while keeping employees safe on the road.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 15 (2-2:30 p.m.): Hiding in Plain Sight: Fashion Hides That Might Surprise You.  It’s surprising how easy it is to hide something, even from a co-worker working right next to you. Impairment affects employee, driver and workplace safety. Our Driving Concern Senior Program Manager Lisa Robinson leads the discussion.
  • Thursday, Dec. 17 (10-10:30 a.m.): Mocktail Your Holiday: An Employer’s Guide to Alcohol Alternatives for Holiday Celebrations: Holiday gatherings are fast approaching. Employers are looking for ways to celebrate. Mocktails – non-alcoholic cocktails – can be just as enjoyable as their alcohol-infused counterparts. 

Impaired driving is always a concern, 365, 24/7, and especially around the holidays. But there are fun ways to alleviate those concerns. One is to offer non-alcoholic beverages at your gatherings. Garnish your mocktails with those cute umbrellas. You know the ones: They’re available for purchase online or at many local retail stores. Or, serve fruit smoothies.

Lead by example. Make it a point to prioritize safety. If you are going out, plan ahead for a safe ride home.