August 2019 Newsletter: A Minute of Safety Can Result in a Pile of Savings

Alcohol is not the only thing that can cause impaired driving.

Safety in 60 Seconds

It can be difficult to find an hour to think about ways to be innovative or productive at work, but everyone can spare 60 seconds. Sixty seconds is all you need for a safety talk to highlight risks associated with drug-impaired driving.

Call it a safety minute. Our new 60-second safety video, ABCs of Drug-Impaired Driving, can be shared in an email blast, on social channels or video monitors at your workplace. The safety message here is a good one: Alcohol is not the only thing that can cause impaired driving.

Yes, it is true about one-third of fatal crashes across America continue to be linked to alcohol. Yes, when people think about impaired driving, they think about driving under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs. But impairment also can be caused by medications, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Some can cause dizziness and fatigue.

In fact, more than half of drivers admitted to U.S. trauma centers following crashes tested positive for drugs other than alcohol, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, and one in four tested positive for marijuana use. Drugs can slow reaction time, cloud judgment, decrease hand-eye coordination and cause you to fall asleep at the wheel. Safety learned at work often is carried home.

Creating a culture of safety can begin in 60 seconds. What else can a safety pro do in that amount of time?

Let us help with implementation or review of your safe driving policy.

Least Expensive, Most Effective

Seat belts are the least expensive and most effective way to lower employer costs related to traffic incidents involving employees and their family members.

In a study conducted in 19 counties at 299 observation sites, researchers from the University of Central Oklahoma found 85.6% of state residents buckle up. That’s four percentage points below the national seat belt use rate (89.6%).

That leaves plenty of room for improvement, particularly when comparing morning seat belt use rates with those of the afternoon and evening hours. In 2017, between the hours of 3 p.m. and midnight, 108 of 231 no-seat-belt fatalities occurred on state roads, according to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. Two more points to make:

  • 12.1% of unrestrained fatalities (28 of 231) occurred in August, the highest single monthly total of the year
  • 34.2% of unrestrained fatality victims (79 of 231) were totally ejected from the vehicle

Many employers already have safe driving policies in place that require seat belt use. Does your organization have a policy? If not, use our sample safe driving policy to address concern over aggressive driving, distracted driving, impaired driving and seat belt use.

Are your employees buckling up? Get the 2Seconds2Click toolkit developed by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The kit includes everything you need to launch a workplace seat belt safety activity.

Share these three seat belt safety facts from NHTSA and the National Safety Council:

  1. Buckling up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle, whereas not buckling up can result in being ejected from the vehicle in a crash, which is almost always deadly.
  2. Air bags are not enough to protect you; in fact, the force of an air bag can seriously injure or even kill you if you’re not buckled up.
  3. Improperly wearing a seat belt, such as putting the strap below your arm, puts you at risk in a crash; when traveling with kids, be sure to check that each one has his or her shoulder belt positioned properly.

Employees who are in the habit of using a seat belt during work hours also are more likely to buckle up when they are off the clock. Let’s work to raise seat belt use rates in Oklahoma in make traffic safety part of our everyday workplace culture.