In preparing to write this post I happened to mention to a co-worker that half of all fatalities in traffic accidents were due to seat belts not being worn. My co-worker responded with “Who doesn’t wear a seat belt nowadays? Everyone wears them!”. Another co-worker overheard our conversation and admitted that she, in fact, never wore one.
Truth is that, whether we see it or not, there as still a lot of people out there gambling with their life (as well as the lives of the passengers in the car with them) and odd are good that you’ve got an employee who doesn’t wear a seat belt.
2seconds2Click is a campaign that is trying to reduce the number of people on the roads who aren’t clicking up when they get in their vehicle.
Check out their website and make use of the many resources that they have available. They have free downloads to use before you launch the campaign, resources to launch the campaign and material to use during the 6-week campaign.
There’s a lot of excitement and joy when your teen gets his or her first car both for the parents who don’t have to drive the teen around anymore as well as for the teen who now has a degree of freedom they haven’t had before. For the parents there’s also the concern and worry over whether or not their teen is going to drive safely, especially with regards to texting and driving.
That’s the emphasis of Michelin’s new TV ad and hashtag entitled #FirstCarMoment that features real footage of several teens finding out that they just got gifted their first car. Have a look for yourself:
Did you know that driving after you’ve been drinking and or driving while tired aren’t the only dangers when it comes to getting behind the wheel? Apparently getting behind the wheel when you’re extremely emotional (angry, sad, distraught, etc…) can increase your chances of being in an accident by 1000%. That means you’re 10 times more likely to get injured behind the wheel when your emotions aren’t in check.
According to an article by The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, any extreme emotion makes you a danger to yourself and to others if you choose to drive in that condition.
The findings emerged based on more than 1,600 crash interviews where researchers were trying to determine how much distracted driving contributed to accidents. While they found what they were expecting concerning driving while texting, reading, etc… it also found that people who were “emotionally impaired” also posed a very real danger.
So… is there a breathalyzer for emotional impairment?
You can read more about this story here.
When you think about the dangers that your teenagers face what are the top three that first come to mind?
Most parents listed things like sexual activity, drug use, alcohol, peer pressure and similar dangers. Fewer than 1 in 4 parents (24%) listed car crashes as a major item of concern.
Worse is the fact that most parents believe that their teenagers will “do as I say, not as I do”. In other words parents who talk on the cell phone or text while driving do so with their teenager in the car even though they tell their teen not to.
While the council recommends that parents spend 50+ hours most spend a whole lot less than that. While the council recommends not allowing new teen drivers to have others in the vehicle, most parents either allow or encourage them to do so.
Find out more about the Parents of Teen Drivers Public Opinion Poll published by the National Safety Council.
From the trafficsafety.org website:
“Drive Safely Work Week (DSWW) is the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety’s (NETS) annual workplace safety campaign, providing a turnkey way to remind employees about safe driving practices.
The DSWW campaign has been sponsored by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) since 1996. NETS is grateful for its members’ sense of corporate social responsibility and their willingness to share their resources and expertise with everyone via the annual DSWW campaign to help make the roads safer for all of us.
Although the observance of the campaign takes place each year during the first full week of October, the materials are not dated and can be used throughout the year for continued promotion of safe driving practices.
Founded in 1989, NETS is a non-profit partnership of socially responsible public and private organizations dedicated exclusively to traffic safety in the workplace.”
There is an absolute ton of material to be downloaded, posters, powerpoints, checklist, flyers, graphics and a whole lot more.
Head out to http://trafficsafety.org/dsww2015/index.html now to start getting ready for the week of October 5-9th, 2015.
Trucks, we share the highways and roadways with them every day as we commute back and forth to work; we get aggravated at them when we’re stuck behind and can’t pass them; they’re indispensable in getting product, food, livestock and pretty much everything we need across the country. The men and women that drive them also have one of the deadliest jobs in America.
Right now the death rate for truck drivers accounts for around 12% of all work related deaths in America.
The reasons why this job is so deadly are many and are not necessarily what you might think.
1. Long hours means that drivers are often sleep deprived. There are laws that say that truck drivers can only drive for 14 hours straight and must then take at least 10 hours off before they start driving again. There are also laws regulating how much they are allowed to work a week. Unfortunately in a job where the driver is paid by the load, not by the hour, these laws are more often than not circumvented and ignored. Additionally, truck drivers are finding it harder and harder to find safe and convenient places to pull over and sleep for the night.
2. Healthy eating and exercise is hard to come by on the road. Truck drivers sit almost all day and most often stop only to eat at truck stops and fast food restaurants simply because that’s what’s available along their routes. This means that among truck drivers 86% are classified as overweight or obese. Many truck drivers are forced to get other jobs when their diet and lack of exercise leads to becoming insulin dependent diabetics. Laws force insulin dependent diabetics to give up driving trucks.
3. Because they are on the road so much, truck drivers often do not take the time to get checkups and schedule doctor visits. Time off work is time they aren’t getting paid for and scheduling doctor visits often means turning down routes that they need in order to pay the bills. Truck drivers tend to “push through” and ignore health symptoms.
4. Isolation and lack of social interaction also leads to a higher than normal rate of depression among truck drivers. This, in turn, leads to additional health problems.
5. Stress of driving all day adds to the problem. Any truck driver will tell you that cars cutting in front of them without giving them enough space to stop is a continuous issue for them. The larger the truck, the more weight they are carrying, the longer it takes for them to stop. Traffic jams, road construction, detours and other roadway problem can often put truck drivers behind schedule adding to the stress of driving for so many hours.
Next time you’re tempted to get irritated because a semi in front of you isn’t accelerating fast enough or because you can’t get around it fast enough, stop and think about how hard it is to do what that truck driver has it. After all, as one truck driver put it “If you don’t like all these trucks on the road, stop buying stuff!”.
NIOSH has put together a “Quick Tips for Truck Drivers” publication that is available for free on their website.
Knowing the rigors and the long hours that truck drivers have to put in, NIOSH put this publication together to help truck drivers understand when they are too sleepy to be driving as well as understanding the importance of sleep and the ramifications of driving without getting enough of it.
Especially stressed in this pamphlet is a section that outlines how to get good sleep in order to be alert while driving.
You can download the publications on the CDC website here.
If you text and drive you might want to stay home from April 10th to the 15th because “law enforcement from states all over America will be out in force, pulling over people who are texting while driving, and writing tickets.”
According to the DOT website, a new campaign entitled “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” is being launched this week in order to send home the message that texting while driving will not be tolerated.
Read all about the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign on the DOT website.