Make sure your employees are safe behind the wheel whether they are driving on the job or commuting to and from work.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has published an analysis of driver, vehicle, and traffic-control safety measures that significantly reduce traffic deaths. You can use the analysis to promote safe-driver behaviors with a high probability of reducing crash risk and severity and of saving lives.
Here are six safety measures that you can promote to reduce employee deaths and injuries from motor vehicle crashes both on and off the job:
1. Buckle up. Seat belt use is the single most effective strategy for reducing crash deaths and injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that seat belt use saved more than 12,000 lives in 2009 and could have saved almost 4,000 more—particularly back seat passengers, who are less likely to buckle up. Make buckling up a requirement for all of your employees who are drivers or passengers in motor vehicles.
2. Wear a helmet. Not many workers drive a motorcycle or scooter on the job, but they might ride these fuel-efficient two-wheelers outside of work, especially in light of rising gas prices. Helmets saved nearly 1,500 lives in 2009 and could have saved 700 more, according to the NHTSA. Encourage your motorcycling (and bicycling) employees to wear helmets.
3. Restrict teen drivers.
Graduated licensing laws that restrict when teens can drive, and how many teen passengers they can carry, have been shown to reduce teens’ crash deaths. Although labor laws forbid teens from driving as part of their job until age 18, you can still support motor vehicle safety among your teenage employees by ensuring that they do not work late into the night, when they might be at more risk for crashes after leaving work.
4. Slow down. Many states are raising speed limits—some to as high as 85 mph—but slower speeds save lives, and some trucking groups advocate a national 65 mph speed limit. Whatever the speed limits are in your area, adhering to them enhances safety. Encourage your drivers to observe posted limits.
5. Stop. Red-light running killed almost 700 people, and injured 130,000 more, in 2009. Encourage your drivers to observe traffic signals and stop signs.
6. Stay sober. Alcohol impairs drivers, and impaired drivers are a hazard to themselves and others. You can help by discouraging alcohol use at company functions and parties, and by making sure that workers understand how easily and quickly alcohol can affect their judgment and reaction time.
Tomorrow, more on safe driving, including information about avoiding collisions and driving safely at night.