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NETS: Off-the-Job Traffic Crashes Pose Significant Costs to Employers

NETS’ Drive Safely Work Week campaign kicks off today

Vienna, Va. —When many think of the human and financial impact of traffic crashes on the workplace, they think about company car drivers.But the last published report of The Economic Burden of Traffic Crashes on Employers shows that, in crashes resulting in injury, there is a nearly 1:1 ratio of the cost of on-the-job crashes to the cost of off-the-job crashes1—those that take place outside of work hours that also include non-company vehicle driver-employees and their dependents. The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), a public-private partnership dedicated to reducing the human and economic toll of traffic crashes, is working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on an update to the report. Preliminary findings show that the trend has continued.

During Drive Safely Work Week, which kicked off today and runs through October 9, NETS is calling on employers to consider the safety of ALL employees when behind the wheel. To make participation in the campaign easy, NETS provides a free toolkit, available on its website that includes sample email blasts, graphics, social media posts, PowerPoint presentations and more.

“During Drive Safely Work Week, we encourage employers to extend safe-driving awareness beyond company drivers to all employees and, ideally, to employee family members, as well,” said Joe McKillips, Chairperson of NETS, and Director, Commercial Environment, Health & Safety for the global healthcare company Abbott. “Regardless of occupation, driving is quite likely the riskiest thing anyone does on a daily basis. Taking the opportunity to communicate to all employees the importance of wearing seat belts and stowing mobile devices while driving, for example, is not just the right thing for employers to do, it also makes good business sense.”

The campaign theme this year is “#PlanAhead—Your Key to Driving Safely.” Campaign materials underscore that planning may be the most critical leg of any driving trip, whether the trip takes place on the job or off. Among other topics, materials cover the importance of planning for travel that takes place in unfamiliar territory and remind employers that they carry risks and liabilities similar to company-vehicle drivers for any employee who drives a personal or rental vehicle for business purposes.

Throughout the year, NETS works with its member companies, all of which operate fleets of light duty or heavy duty vehicles, to benchmark their fleet safety programs and share best practices for continuous improvement. NETS members, half of which are Fortune 500 companies, collectively make up a fleet of 600,000 vehicles globally that travels in excess of 11 billion miles each year.

About DSWW

Drive Safely Work Week is a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative of NETS and its member companies. The campaign is in its 19th year and is observed annually during the first full week of October, however, the materials are not dated and may be used any time throughout the year. The 2015 DSWW toolkit may be downloaded at no cost via the NETS Website at www.trafficsafety.org.

About NETS

NETS is a 501(c) 3 organization, a partnership between the U.S. Federal government and the private sector. Established in 1989, NETS is dedicated to improving the safety of employees, their families, and members of the communities in which they live and work by preventing traffic crashes that occur on-and-off the job. Board member companies include Abbott, AmeriFleet Transportation, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, The Coca-Cola Company, Hess Corp., Johnson & Johnson, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, Monsanto Company, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Group, Shell International Petroleum Company and UPS. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health serve as federal liaisons to the board of directors.

NETS is a member of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration, which provides guidance to the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 global initiative. For more information on NETS, visit www.trafficsafety.org or contact jhanley@trafficsafety.org.


1 Table 2, The Economic Burden of Traffic Crashes on Employers, 2003, NHTSA. Cost comparison includes those that are directly paid by employers in relation to traffic crashes.