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

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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.

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August 2017 Newsletter: Phone Distractions Extend Beyond White Lines on the Side of the Road

Our Driving Concern Senior Program Manager Lisa Robinson speaks to issues and concerns all employers face when trying to make their workforce safe on the road:

Admit it, you have laughed at the videos of distracted walkers.

It’s funny to watch the texting woman in a Chinese shopping mall fall into the fountain. It’s not so funny if you are absorbing the brunt of costs associated with injuries that result from these types of incidents. Employers are paying for more and more injuries related to phone distractions.

Q: Do you have employees that walk at lunch? Or as part of a health and wellness program sponsored by your organization? Do you have salesmen that walk as part of their job — to-and-from their car? Someone who goes to the post office or office supply store — walking from the parking lot to the building? Or employees that ride their bikes to work?

A: Sure you do. People walk and ride bikes all time, some for work, others for fun. Distractions – specifically texting and talking on cell phones – have contributed to a rise in injuries and fatalities involving pedestrians and cyclists across the nation.

Continue reading August 2017 Newsletter: Phone Distractions Extend Beyond White Lines on the Side of the Road

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July 2017 Newsletter: Our Driving Concern is Your Drafting Tool for Writing Traffic Safety Book

Our Driving Concern Senior Program Manager Lisa Robinson speaks to issues and concerns all employers face when trying to make their workforce safe on the road:

At Our Driving Concern, we work with employers to promote safe driving practices among their employees, both on and off the job.

Q: Still, I am asked from time-to-time, what exactly is this program and what is it about?

A: Think of Our Driving Concern as your table of contents and you are writing the book that goes with the table of contents. We provide the framework and resources for you to develop a traffic safety program at your workplace at no cost. Our materials are designed to fit nearly every situation and nearly every work environment – big, small, public and private.

From Our Driving Concern, everybody can find tools to put in their toolbox. The aim is to address transportation safety in the workplace and to reach 100% of your employees. You have the ability to take the materials and make them meet your needs. We update materials and produce new resources on a regular basis, including our eNewsletters, webinars, on-line learning modules, safety coach cards and print materials.

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February 2017 Newsletter: Safety & Savings: 2 Reasons for Employers to Fight Driver Distraction

Our Driving Concern Program Manager Lisa Robinson speaks to issues and concerns all employers face when trying to make their workforce safe on the road:

In Arizona, a proposal to ban texting while driving finally could pass in the state legislature this year, according to a report from The Associated Press. What about Texas? In November, Rep. Tom Craddick (Midland) filled a bill to create a traffic violation for smartphone use while driving – the fourth session in a row he has filled such a bill.

Q: Why should Texas employers care?

A: Texas employers are positioned to lead the way in changing driver behavior, and it is in their best interest to do just that. About one-quarter of all traffic crashes today can be attributed to distracted driving, whether it is pulling a burger out of a white paper bag, peeking in the rearview mirror to apply mascara or making use of an electronic device while behind the wheel.

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December 2016 Safety Coach: You Don’t Let Sleeping Dogs Take the Wheel for Good Reason

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One-third of all fatal crashes are the result of incidents involving drunk driving.Close-up face Cute pug puppy dog sleeping on laminate floor Now, there is new research that indicates lack of sleep leads to drunk driving-like episodes on the roads.

Drivers who miss 1-2 hours of sleep nearly double their risk for crash, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. So, not only are some drivers impaired by alcohol and others distracted by smartphone technology, still others are physically unable to focus on the task at hand because they are nodding off while behind the wheel.

This is important to recognize because you want to protect yourself, your loved ones and others around you on the road by staying alert and ready to respond at a moment’s notice. You never know if/when the guy next to you is going to inch into your lane or if you are about to encounter some type of unexpected hazard (such as debris in the road).

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August 2016 Safety Coach: Billion Dollar Question, ‘Are Your Employees Buckled Up?’

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When it comes to buckling up, Americans still lag behind residents of many other high-income countries.Three Big Risks for Truck Driver Safety Snip-2

In America, front seat belt usage was pegged at 87% in a Vital Signs report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in July. And that put the U.S. below the average of 19 high-income countries (94%) and well below leader France (99%).

In Texas, the ramifications of the report are huge for employers, who brunt the lion’s share of costs associated with crashes whether they occur on or off the job. Texas employers spend about $3.4 billion every year on crash injuries and fatalities. And the cost of not buckling up accounts for a big part of that expense.

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July 2016 Safety Coach: Young Pups Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks and Vice Versa

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In a recent issue of The Prospector, a student publication at the University of Texas El Paso, reporter Christian Vasquez details how “DWI will cost you more than a mug shot.”Going Out Tonight?

Lessons learned by those still in school are applicable to those in the workforce, too.

Impaired driving is the main ingredient in a recipe for roadway disaster. The associated costs run the gamut from fines — which can amount to $17,000 or more — and jail time to crash fatalities and injuries. And, then, there is public humiliation.

“Honestly, you feel like a huge loser, and you feel like a huge disappointment to everyone in your life,” said one UTEP student in recounting the impact after he was arrested for DWI.

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May 2016 Newsletter: Motorists & Cyclists: Didn’t Your Mother Teach You to Share the Road?

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Our Driving Concern Program Manager Lisa Robinson speaks to issues and concerns all employers face when trying to make their workforce safe on the road:

As the summer months approach, driving habits change and traffic risks change, too. For many employees, day trips, weekend getaways and family vacations become the rule, not the exception.Biker in helmet driving motorcycle at sunset.

During this time, safety professionals focus much of their attention on the four D’s of impaired driving – drunk, drugged, distracted and drowsy. Yet, questions invariably crop up involving motorcycle safety issues and motorist awareness.

Q: How do I speak effectively with my workforce about sharing the road? How often is it said by a motorist involved in a fatal crash, “I didn’t see that cyclist until it was too late?” Or how often do you hear a co-worker complaining about a cyclist weaving in and out of traffic or riding between the lanes on the freeway? Or muttering over an antsy cyclist tailgating during rush hour congestion?

Continue reading May 2016 Newsletter: Motorists & Cyclists: Didn’t Your Mother Teach You to Share the Road?

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February 2016 Safety Coach: Cost of Drowsy Driving & Who is Most at Risk

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Ready for your morning wake-up call? According to a survey conducted by theDrowsy Driver Safety Coach Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 25 adult drivers (age 18 or older) reported falling asleep while driving in the 30 days before they were questioned.

If you’re not already alarmed, then consider the findings of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA estimates 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in monetary losses.

And NHTSA says these figures may be the tip of the iceberg, since it is difficult to attribute crashes to sleepiness. (There is no test to determine sleepiness as there is for intoxication – a breathalyzer test).

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