Work Safe

Defensive Driving

Distracted driving is a factor in 25 to 30 percent of all traffic-related crashes. With hectic schedules and roadway delays, many employees feel pressured to multi-task just to keep up with their personal and work-related responsibilities. More time on the road means less time at home or at work, but “drive time” should never mean “down time.”

Compelling facts and figures
It’s critical for employees to be well rested, alert and sober on the road so that they are in a position to defend themselves from drivers who do not make the same choice. When communicating with your employees, use these statistics to drive home the importance of safe, distraction-free driving:

  • Drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 crashes each year, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths. Sadly, these numbers represent only the tip of the iceberg because these crashes are seriously under-reported.
  • Crashes caused by drowsy driving are often serious crashes and occur most often on high-speed rural highways when the driver is alone.
  • Drowsy driving can happen to anyone. A recent National Sleep Foundation study revealed that 51 percent of adults have driven while drowsy and 17 percent report having fallen asleep while driving within the past year.

Tips for staying focused on the road
Train your employees to make smart decisions when they’re behind the wheel, on and off the job. Share these basic tips to help your employees stay focused and safe:

  • Be aware of your behavior and the behavior of others on the road during the late night, early morning and mid-afternoon hours when drowsy driving crashes are most likely to occur. Plan a rest stop during these hours.
  • Get a full night of rest before driving. If you become tired while driving, stop. A short nap (15 to 45 minutes) and consuming caffeine can help temporarily.
  • Stop at regular intervals when driving long distances. Get out of the car every two hours to stretch and walk briskly.
  • Set a realistic goal for the number of miles you can safely drive each day.

Source: Guidelines for Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes, OSHA, NHTSA, NETS

Do you have questions about how Missouri Employers Mutual or the WorkSAFE Center can help your workplace? Contact us today to learn more about our resources and custom safety training.

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