Support Words with Actions

Lisa Robinson

At many workplaces, transportation safety conversations take place nearly every day, even in this environment. Often, they involve executives, managers, safety professionals and employees. These conversations have great potential for improving workplace safety and health.

One of the best ways to maximize that potential is to craft talking points:

  • Elevator speech: This is the time and place to engage your employees in conversations around your organization’s safe driving policies and highlight driver safety on and off the job. Pay attention to speeding and aggressive driving, impaired driving, distracted driving and seat belt use.
  • Water cooler conversation: Striking fixed objects is very common. Did you know: Backing up accounts for about 1% of all driving time and 25% of collisions? Talk about why it is so important to take a 360-degree walk-around your vehicle before you depart.
  • Evaluation: What areas of your program need attention? To ensure your program is a success, create a variety of opportunities that engage employees in driver and transportation safety, and use measuring tools such as scorecards to track the impact of incidents on your bottom line.

One thing to keep in mind: You can make transportation safety an easy fit with a plan for quick touches that are innovative and on-going. Share a tip of the day in an email blast or on your company’s intranet site. Here are a couple to get you started:

  • Multitasking Myth: Most people recognize that texting while driving is a dangerous behavior.  However, many don’t grasp the idea that having a cellphone conversation while behind the wheel is also risky. Driving and talking on the phone are thinking tasks. Instead of processing both simultaneously, your brain rapidly switches between these activities. During that instant it takes your brain to make this switch, your reaction time could be compromised. You are cognitively distracted.
  • Buckle Up: Every Person, Every Seat, Every Time: 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 in a sudden collision. That’s the weight of an elephant charging straight through the driver. Nearly half of people killed in crashes are not wearing seat belts.

What is your company policy regarding distracted driving and seat belt use? Now might be a good time to remind employees about your policies as you look to shape the new normal.

Of course, there are many other ways to promote transportation safety and safe driving behaviors. One is to expand your safety toolbox by adding free resources from Our Driving Concern:

Another way to boost you own skills is through professional development. Pick from our free training opportunities:

As we look forward to emerging on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, I will leave you to ponder this: How can a safety opportunity be compared to a sunrise? Easy. The dawn of a new day represents another chance for us to help you up your safety game. So, get up and get going. Better days are ahead!

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