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October 2017 Safety Coach: There is a Time and Place for Riding Off into the Sunset

Safety Coach

Drivers and passengers are three to 10 times more likely to be killed in crashes in

rural areas vs. urban environments, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The proximity of trauma care is one reason. Another: Seat belt use is lower in rural areas.

CDC found 61% of drivers and passengers killed in America’s most rural counties were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. In Texas, about 92% of drivers and passengers buckle up, a dramatic increase from 76% when the Texas Department of Transportation first launched its Click It or Ticket program in 2002.

Still, TxDOT reports more than 43% of people killed in crashes statewide were not properly restrained in 2016. And it’s not just pickup truck drivers involved in incidents on country roads. Three out of four kids are not buckled correctly. Make a connection with your employees by sharing TxDOT’s child protection resources.

Promoting seat belt use is one of the least expensive and most efficient ways for employers to save lives and save money. Crashes can wreck your bottom line. Take proactive steps to combat the costly toll of incidents. Educate employees on risky driving behaviors. At the same time, reduce your liability exposure.

Try these three simple ways:

  • Conduct a simple physics lesson: Seat belts in a collision. What would happen if you or your passengers were not wearing a seat belt and your vehicle was brought to a sudden and abrupt halt in a collision with a tree?
  • Share a nugget: Riders in the back seat who use lap and shoulder belts are 44% more likely to survive a crash than unrestrained occupants in passenger cars, according to TxDOT; in passenger vans and SUVs, the likelihood of survival increases to 73%
  • Watch a video: Doesn’t Matter How Far; Just Belt Up

Tailgate Talk

Put a Fresh Coat of Paint on Traffic Safety with Free Resources

In Texas, one person is injured in a crash on state roads about every 2 minutes. One person is killed in a crash every 2½ hours.

Employers absorb the brunt of costs associated with crashes, whether they occur on or off the job, through everything from absenteeism and lost productivity to increased expenses for workers’ compensation benefits.

More than 90% of crashes are the result of human error – and, therefore, preventable. The most common types of errors drivers make include:

  • Missing road hazards or detecting them too slowly
  • Choosing the incorrect defensive driving action
  • Driving in a distracted or altered state, such as having inadequate sleep, being distracted by a phone or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

At Our Driving Concern, we work with Texas employers to cut costs associated with crashes. One of the best ways is to incorporate traffic safety into your regular workplace safety culture. Our sample safe driving policy addresses concern over aggressive driving, distracted driving, impaired driving and seat belt use. At the end, there is a place for employee acknowledgement of company policy, signature required.

Education is a vital component when it comes to shifting culture and altering risky driving behaviors. Smoking once was considered a fanciful mainstream activity. Now, smoking is banned in almost all public places. How long before cell phone use is banned in all vehicles – handheld and hand-free?

While that question does not come with a ready-made answer, some others do. How often should you talk about traffic safety? Every day? Once a month? Every six months?

The answer is whatever works best at your organization. Be sure your traffic safety efforts are consistent and ongoing. Let us help with our free resources, including:

We’ve added a new piece: Our 2017-2018 wall calendar and poster collection is now available at no cost. If you would like to request a quantity to post in various locations around your building, please fill out this form.