According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the annual cost of vehicle crashes in the US is $227 billion. That works out to almost $2,000 per worker. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death on the job and the second-leading cause of unintentional fatal injuries off the job, according to the National Safety Council’s (NSC) latest Injury Facts report.
"Whether driving for work, commuting to and from work, or running errands after the workday is done, the time spent behind the wheel is very likely the most dangerous part of an employee's day," said Joseph McKillips, Sr. Manager, Commercial Program Support, Global Environmental, Health, and Safety for Abbott, and Chairman of Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS).
Driving a vehicle is an important component of most worker's jobs. For some it's driving to work; for others, such as bus, truck, or equipment drivers, operating a vehicle is the job. One of your responsibilities as a driver, in addition to moving objects from one place to another, is to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of your passengers and other drivers or workers.
The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety has designated October 6-10 as Drive Safely Work Week, an annual event during which employers discuss with employees good driving practices as they apply to their role as a driver. This year employers are encouraged to incorporate safe driving as an extension of the workplace safety plan. The goal is to encourage driving safety outside of the workplace, as hazards away from work can be just as damaging to employees as those the employer tries to control at the workplace.
This year's discussion focuses not just on how to avoid hazards while driving and good safety practices, but safe driving habits that will prevent you from becoming a hazard to other drivers.
Among the topics discussed are:
- Seatbelt safety and statistics of seatbelt use;
- Mobile use while driving and the consequences; and
- Ideas to develop and promote Fleet Safety Programs for commercial drivers.
This information and much more can be found by accessing a Free Toolkit on the Drive Safely Work Week home page.
Remember, safety awareness and your safety responsibilities don't end with the conclusion of your work shift. Hazard awareness and good, safe driving practices are the responsibility of all drivers.
Safety Tip of the Month