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September 2018 Safety Coach: Take an Aggressive Approach to Drive Cultural Change

Safety Coach
Defense Wins Games, Even on Concrete Playing Fields

In some areas of Texas, the only thing more common than bumper-to-bumper traffic is the sight of one driver shouting at another or raising a fist in a moment of rage.

Road rage isn’t limited to Texas. In a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 80% of drivers in the U.S. expressed anger, aggression or road rage while behind the wheel at least once in the previous year. In terms of driver behavior, AAA found:

  • 51% tailgated
  • 47% yelled at another driver
  • 45% honked to show annoyance or anger
  • 33% gestured angrily
  • 24% blocked another vehicle from changing lanes

What can employers do to affect cultural change? Remind employees: The best offense is a solid defense — as in a defensive driving strategy. Talk about risks associated with speeding and aggressive driving. Share safety tips to defuse a potential confrontation with an angry driver:

  • Avoid eye contact
  • Don’t tailgate or flash your lights at another driver
  • If you’re in the left lane and someone wants to pass, move over and let the driver pass you

Last year, speed was a contributing factor in 139,131 crashes across the state, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. That’s more than 380 crashes every day. Road rage – defined as a physical assault of a person or vehicle as a result of a traffic incident – was linked to another 1,308 crashes.

Read/share: Out of Control: Houston’s roads, drivers are country’s most deadly.

Employers pay for crashes whether they occur on or off the job. AAA tips to share in a newsletter or email blast:

  • Maintain adequate following distance
  • Use turn signals
  • Be considerate in parking lots

Learn why transportation safety should be a priority for all employers. Play on a video monitor at your workplace: Leapfrog: Game for Kids, Not Aggressive Drivers. Share on social channels: Don’t Be a Speed Demon.

Tailgate Talk
Asleep at the Wheel: Transportation Industry among Those Most Impacted by Fatigue

New data summarized in a National Safety Council report identifies industries that may be at higher risk for fatigue-related incidents and injuries:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation
  • Utilities

The report highlights a gap between how employers and employees view fatigue and its impact on their safety:

  • 93% of employers feel fatigue is a safety issue
  • 72% of employees in safety-critical industries agree

In the transportation industry, 97% of employers said they feel the impact of fatigue, the highest among all safety-critical industries surveyed. Transportation industry employees who reported at least one risk factor cited sleep loss (48%) and long shifts (42%) as the most common causes of fatigue.

Download Fatigue in Safety-Critical Industries: Impact, Risks and Recommendations as well as the other two reports in the series produced by the National Safety Council on the prevalence of fatigue in the American workforce.

In Texas, drivers who were fatigued or asleep at the wheel contributed to 9,704 crashes in 2017 – more than 26 every day – according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Take steps to raise awareness at your workplace: