Safety First, Turkeys Later
Providing education on the risks of alcohol-impaired driving is not always on top of employer to-do lists. Many organizations have policies that ban the use of alcohol and other drugs, including cannabis, and procedures to test employees, particularly those who are federally regulated.
So, why place an extra emphasis on alcohol-impaired driving now? Last year, 1,163 people were killed in crashes in Texas where a driver was under the influence of alcohol, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. That’s nearly 26% of all crash fatalities across the state.
How many were coworkers, friends, relatives or neighbors? How many would be alive today if someone had reached out through a workplace safety initiative? We know what’s learned at work often is carried home.
We also know alcohol-impaired driving incidents tend to spike on weekends and during the holidays. So, here five ways you can influence driver behavior and keep your employees and their family members safe as we approach the long Thanksgiving weekend, one of the busiest travel times of the year:
- Faces of Drunk Driving: Share real-life stories that illustrate the impact of what can happen when someone decides to drive after consuming alcohol. Play one of these TxDOT videos during your next safety meeting and encourage everyone to share their own stories.
- Posterize Safety: Print and display one of our free impaired driving safety posters.
- Huddle Up: Use this free Traffic Safety Huddle sheet to guide a discussion on how blood alcohol concentration levels impact a person’s ability to be safe while driving.
- Multi-Substance Use: Whether intentional or not, using two or more drugs at the same time can amplify the impairing effects of each drug. This includes the use of prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, alcohol, cannabis and other illicit drugs. Use this 12-minute free online course, Polydrugs, to bring everyone up to speed on safety risks.
- Social Media: Download free graphics and use this playbook guide from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to raise awareness of alcohol-impaired driving safety risks.
Thanksgiving is a time for food, family, football and fun, right? Bring safety to the table in the days leading up to the holiday, and help your team prepare for a celebration.
Give Thanks, Buckle Up
Here are myths about riding in the back seat often shared by adults:
- The back seat is safer than the front, so using a seat belt is unnecessary
- They forget to fasten the seat belt in back or are not in the habit of buckling up in the back
- The seat belt in back fits poorly
- They can’t find the belt or the buckle, so buckling up in back is difficult
Unbelted riders in the back put themselves and everyone else in the vehicle at risk. They can become flying projectiles in the event of a crash. Buckling up prevents drivers and passengers from being ejected. Seat belts are the first line of defense against aggressive, distracted and impaired drivers. In fact, seat belts save thousands of lives every year.
Share this information as millions will be traveling for Thanksgiving. Some will use ride-share services to get to and from the airport. A simple reminder from you to buckle up in the back seat is a great way to show how much you care for the wellbeing of coworkers, friends and relatives.
Use these free resources to spread the word about seat belt safety:
- Driver behavior safety series videos: Seat Belts (available in English and Spanish).
- Driver behavior micro e-learning: Get your team engaged. Once they pass all five modules, including one on passenger restraint, they will receive a certificate of completion.
- Safety poster to print and display: Secure Your Future.
- Infographic to share in a public place: Seat Belts.
- Safety Coach cards: These come with talking points and questions with suggested answers on the back. They’re great for creating engagement, and they’re available in English and Spanish.
Traveling at 30-mph, an adult passenger riding in the back seat without his seat belt fastened is thrown forward with a force of 3½ tons during a hard crash. That’s roughly the weight of an elephant charging straight through the driver and/or others seated up front.
That’s a good reason to share another reminder: Buckle up – every time, every seat.
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