Drowsy, Distracted, or Focused…Your Decisions Drive Your Safety.
This week is Drive Safely Work Week! It is the 20th year of this campaign, hosted by NETS, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety. This year’s campaign, NETS really want employers to encourage their employees to think about what they normally do behind the wheel. Do you text while driving? Do you ever doze off while you drive? Have you ever driven under the influence of anything, even if you didn’t hit the legal limit? These are the questions that employers need to help their employees think about and evaluate.
More than half the people killed in traffic crashes in the U.S. last year were someone’s employee. 94 percent of crashes are due to driver-related factors including fatigue, driver error, impairment or distraction. So basically that means only 6 out of every 100 crashes are a result of something other than a driver’s behavior behind the wheel. For these reasons the theme of this year’s campaign is Drowsy, Distracted, or Focused…Your Decisions Drive Your Safety.
For a quick look at some of the above crash factors here are some statistics (2014):
- 21% of crashes in which a person is killed involves a drowsy driver.
- 33% of traffic fatalities every year since 1994 involved a Blood Alcohol Level of .08% or higher
- 28% of fatal crashes involve speeding.
- 18% of injury crashes and 10% or fatal crashes involved a distracted driver.
Warning signs that you might need to evaluate how you drive include getting a speeding ticket or warning, having a “close call” in which you have swerve or brake hard to avoid an accident, getting comments from passengers concerned about your driving, or getting confused as you drive, i.e. missing a turn, not seeing a barrier.
There are many different resources on the NETS website including this Road Risk Self-Assessment that asks you to help assess the likelihood of being involved in a crash. The quiz helps people understand their level of defensive driving knowledge and combines that with your road safety performance. At the end you can compare your risk rating to all other drivers who have taken the assessment. The NETS website also has resources such as fact sheets, a sleep quiz assessment and much more.