Unless you are a bomb squad technician or a professional stuntman, driving is probably the most dangerous part of your job. In fact, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death on the job and the second-leading cause of unintentional fatal injuries off the job. To raise awareness of the hazards and to promote safe driving practices among employees, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) has designated October 6 through 10 as its annual Drive Safely Work Week.
While traffic collisions obviously have a huge impact on the individuals involved, they also affect their employers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the annual economic cost of car crashes in the U.S. is $277 billion. NETS seeks to reduce these costs by having employers encourage driver safety among employees as part of their corporate culture.
The theme of this year’s Drive Safely Work Week is “Driving your safety culture home.” The campaign is designed to help employers incorporate safe driving into their corporate safety culture. In particular, the campaign is encouraging employers to set company policies regarding seat belt and mobile device use. This seems like a good place to start: a recent study by the National Safety Council found that cell phone use causes 26% of car accidents. And despite seat belts’ well-known effectiveness in saving lives, many adults still do not wear them.
This is the 18th year of Drive Safely Work Week. In past years, an average of 3500 organizations, representing 16.5 million employees, have participated in the campaign. To access the free toolkit, visit the NETS website at trafficsafety.org.
With one of the worst average commuting times in the nation, Atlanta is notorious for its nasty traffic. If more local employers take advantage of the materials offered by Drive Safely Work Week, perhaps more automobile accidents could be prevented.