The National Sleep Foundation has designated this week National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week and has provided some great resources on their website. These resources are designed to raise awareness and provide tips that you and your employees can use to stay safe while on the road.
Some of the statistics and research that was gathered includes:
- Young drivers (under 26), shift workers, commercial drivers, and business travelers are at most risk for fatigue-related crashes
- Sleeping less than 6 hours per night triples your chances of being involved in a vehicle collision; sleeping less than 5 hours the previous night increases collision chances by a factor of 5
- 60% of Americans admit to drowsy driving and 37% have fallen asleep at the wheel in the past year alone
- 13% admit to falling asleep while driving once a month!
- The end of Daylight Saving Time is considered one of the most dangerous times of the year for driving
As these statistics illustrate drowsy driving is dangerous and highlights the dangers of transportation accidents. According to the BLS, more than 1,898 deaths (of the total 4,609) a year result from occupational transportation incidents. Of that number, approximately 57 percent (1,075 cases) were roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles.
Employers bear the cost of traffic related injuries that occur both on and off the job. The average crash occurring on-the-job costs an employer $16,500. When a worker has an on-the-job crash that results in an injury, the cost to their employer can rise to $74,000 and costs can exceed $500,000 when a fatality is involved.
So what can you do ensure your employees stay safe on the road?
Step 1: Implement Written Polices and Procedures
Written driver safety policies and procedures emphasize an organization’s commitment to reducing traffic-related injury and death, and are effective tools for creating a “driver safety conscious” culture in the workplace. Train all employees on your program and ensure they understand the outlined policies.
Step 2: Employee Involvement Gain Support Throughout the Organization
Ensuring that employees throughout all levels of an organization buckle up and practice safe driving behaviors requires the attention and buy in of top-level management. Senior management can provide leadership, set policies, and allocate resources (staff and budget) to create a “driver safety conscious” culture in the workplace. Actively encouraging employee participation and involvement at all levels of the organization is also good practice and will help the effort to succeed.
Step 3: Implement Driver Safety Agreements
Establish a contract with all employees who drive personal or company vehicles for work purposes. By signing an agreement, employees acknowledge awareness and understanding of the organization’s driver safety policies, procedures, and expectations and agree to follow them.
Step 4: Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Checks
Check the driving records of all employees who drive for work purposes. Identifying potential hires with poor driving records is important, as they are likely to drive less safely than those with good driving records. Current employee MVRs should be reviewed periodically to ensure that good driving records are maintained.
Whether you manage a fleet of vehicles, oversee a mobile sales force, have employees who drive on the job or simply employ commuters, Arbill can help keep your employees safe. Our EH&S professionals have tremendous experience implementing and training on workplace safety programs which can greatly reduce the risk of injury or death and help protect your company’s bottom line.
Schedule a free consultation with one of our safety experts today to map out your injury prevention plan.
Have a Safe Day!