Motor vehicle crashes result in a significant amount of injuries and fatalities both on and off of the job. Employees should take motor vehicle safety seriously no matter if they drive on the job or not.
- According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 42,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2020.
- Every 12 seconds someone dies in a car crash (OSHA)
- 1 in 3 crash deaths involved drunk driving (CDC)
- 1 in 3 crash deaths involved speeding (CDC)
- Seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,955 lives in 2017 (NHTSA)
- Motor vehicle crashes cost employers $60 billion annually in medical care, legal expenses, property damage, and lost productivity (OSHA)
The best way to prevent auto accidents is to drive defensively. This means you should avoid distractions, stay alert, look down the road, avoid following too close, and anticipate other drivers’ actions. Although you can do everything right, you still may find yourself involved in an accident at one point in your life. Therefore, it is vital to be prepared for how you should react, what you should do and not do following an accident.
One of the best ways to minimize the impact of an accident is to be prepared for the accident prior to it taking place. Some steps to take include:
- Items such as medical information, driver’s license, insurance, and vehicle registration should be up to date and readily accessible.
- Remove or properly secure loose items in your vehicle to prevent the possibility of them flying around during impact.
- Keep your cell phone charged and readily available to dial 911 and to take photos of the scene.
- Consider keeping a first aid kit and emergency seat belt cutter/window breaker tool in your vehicle.
- Maintain paper, pens, or pencils in your vehicle to document other vehicle and witness information.
Smartphones have made it easy for us to stay connected at all times. But that can pose serious safety risks if someone decides to check his or her text messages, emails, phone calls, or any other mobile applications while driving.
- 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
- Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
- Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field.
- Texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with eyes off the road.
Mitigation Actions for Distracted Driving:
- Put the cell phone down while driving.
- Put your cellphone on airplane mode if needed to eliminate distractions as well as the urge to answer a text, call, or email alert.
- If you need to text or call while driving pull over to a safe area to do so.
- When traveling as a passenger, urge any driver who is using their cellphone to put it down.
- If there is another driver on the road who is using a phone while driving, maintain a safe distance from them and be a defensive driver. Always leave yourself an out in case of any type of accident occurs around your vehicle.
Eliminate the excuses you create for yourself that allow you to become distracted. You are not any better at distracted driving than the next person.
Remember Safety Starts with You! Thank you for your hard work!