Put Safety in Your Playbook

On third-and-2, the coach of your favorite football team faces this question: Run or pass? It is early in the first quarter of the first game of the season. Yet, you sense this could be one of those defining moments. You are a big fan. You know a first down is not the only thing at stake.

You know the coach wants to send a message that will stick with his players for weeks to come. Now, picture yourself as the coach of a team looking to build on an impeccable safety record. The start of a new football season is a great time to make an impact with traffic safety messages.

Many of your employees watch college and pro football. Some attend tailgate parties and sit on the 50-yard line. Others tune in on giant-screen TVs. Co-workers, friends and family members share in the food, fun and hysteria. That is OK as long as they are sober when they hit the road.

Here are three safety tips to share:

  • Planning: Ask, “How are you getting to-and-from the stadium or watch party?”
  • Delegation of duties: Choose a non-drinking friend as a designated driver, hail a cab or use a ride-share service
  • Buddy system: If someone you know has been drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel

Last year, one person was injured every 2 minutes 7 seconds in a crash on Texas roads, and more than two people died every day in alcohol-impaired driving incidents. Education is one way to affect culture change. Most adults reach 0.05 BAC after two to three drinks. At that level, crash risk is 40% greater than at zero alcohol concentration, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

There is no need to take that kind of risk. The consequences of impaired driving are far too great and go beyond obvious legal and financial ramifications. Too often, lives are shattered. Research indicates about 20% of children 14-and-under killed in crashes are victims in alcohol-impaired incidents.

Employers absorb the brunt of costs associated with crashes, whether they occur on or off the job, whether they involve an employee or family member. You always win when you call for the safety play. Get everyone on your team dialed into the same playbook.

– Lisa Robinson is a senior program manager at the National Safety Council