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Decade of Action for Road Safety

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A monthly publication of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety

November 16, 2015         Summaries of timely road safety news, events, and alerts

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STUDY: Reasons for Child Passenger Nonrestraint in Motor Vehicles

Source: Traffic Injury Prevention, Volume 16, Supplement 2, 2015

Details of a new study on traffic injury prevention reveal the reasons why parents allow child passengers to ride without the use of proper restraints. Nearly 24% of surveyed parents reported that they had driven with their child not fully restrained on at least one occasion. Approximately 1 in 5 parents agreed that it would be acceptable to keep their child unrestrained in certain situations, including a short drive, in a rush, an inadequate number of restraints, riding in a taxi, if somebody was holding the child, and as a reward for a child. Parents were more likely to agree that it was acceptable to keep their child unrestrained under nearly all circumstances listed if they were male, ages 18–29, with a graduate school education, in the $100,000+ income bracket, or Latino. The study concludes there are certain situations for which parents find it acceptable to leave their children unrestrained. This has implications for targeted child passenger safety efforts designed to maximize consistent restraint use. To view the full study, go to:

Driver distractions extend 27 seconds beyond act

Source: Automotive Fleet, October 23, 2015

Potentially unsafe mental distractions can persist for as long as 27 seconds after a driver dials, changes music or sends a text using voice commands, according to new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The researchers discovered the residual effects of mental distraction while comparing new hands-free technologies in 10 2015 model-year vehicles and three types of smart phones. The analysis found that all systems studied increased mental distraction to potentially unsafe levels. The study results raise new and unexpected concerns regarding the use of phones and vehicle information systems while driving, the foundation said. This research represents the third phase of the foundation's investigation into cognitive distraction. Results show that new hands-free technologies can mentally distract drivers even if their eyes are on the road and their hands are on the wheel. "Drivers should use caution while using voice-activated systems, even at seemingly safe moments when there is a lull in traffic or the car is stopped at an intersection," said Marshall Doney, AAA's president and CEO. "The reality is that mental distractions persist and can affect driver attention even after the light turns green." To see the full article, go to:

U.S. reports 8 deaths, 98 injuries from exploding air bags

Source: Seattle Times, October 22, 2015

People whose cars have been recalled to fix air bag inflators made by Takata Corp. should get the repairs done as soon as possible or face the risk of death or injury, U.S. safety regulators said. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said eight people have died and 98 more have been hurt by inflators that can explode with too much force, spewing shrapnel into drivers and passengers. About 23.4 million Takata driver and passenger air bag inflators have been recalled on 19.2 million U.S. vehicles sold by 12 auto and truck makers. As of Oct. 9, only 22.5% of the recalled inflators had been replaced nationwide. The figure was 4.4% on Sept. 1. Officials said it's difficult to estimate how long it will take to fix all of the cars because of the size and complexity of the recall. NHTSA is considering taking over management of the recalls in order to speed up the pace of repairs. To see the full article, go to:

Study: Self-driving cars crash five times as much as regular ones

Source: Fortune, October 29, 2015

A new study found that self-driving cars are far more accident-prone than ordinary cars, even though Google and other autonomous vehicle proponents have said those cars are safer because they don't actually cause the crashes. For every million miles driven, self-driving vehicles had 9.1 crashes, compared to just 1.9 for regular vehicles, according to a report released by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute. In other words, self-driving cars were five times as likely to crash as conventional ones, and their passengers were four times as likely to get injured (with 3.29 injuries per million miles, compared to only .77 injuries in regular cars). Self-driving cars were also rear-ended 50% more often than traditional vehicles. To see the full article, go to:

NTSB: Tire recalls need overhaul

Source: The Detroit News, October 27, 2015

The National Transportation Safety Board said last month the U.S. system for tire registration is ineffective and called for mandatory tire registration, saying that at least 500 crash deaths a year are linked to tire problems. Unlike car recalls, tire recalls face many problems. Independent tire dealers are not required to register tires on buyers' behalf — and tire makers can't contact those drivers if their tires need to be recalled. From 2009-2013, 3.2 million tires were recalled — but just 44% were replaced. And in a typical tire recall, just 20% are fixed. Dealers controlled by the tire manufacturer must register replacement tires, but not independent tires. The other big issue is tire aging. Tires degrade over time and most consumers don't understand the issue, NTSB said. NTSB wants the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to require the registration of all replacement tires – and wants to require tire manufacturers to put safety recall information on their websites in a format that is searchable by tire identification number. NTSB also wants NHTSA to consider writing regulations to address tire aging issues and create a plan to reduce risks. To see the full article, go to:

Federal safety regulators calling for seat belts on school bus

Source:, November 10, 2015

Federal safety regulators are now shifting into high gear when it comes to school bus safety. For the first time, they're calling for seat belts on every school bus in the U.S. It may be hard to imagine, but most kids are not strapped in during their ride to and from school each day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates four children die every year in large school bus crashes. Now, the agency says putting seat belts in buses would cut that number in half. Administrators hope change can come without new regulations, but currently just six states require school buses to have seat belts. And they are expensive, costing between $7,000 to $10,000 a bus. With nearly half a million school buses in the U.S. the cost to retrofit them all could go into the billions. To see the full article, go to:

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Video safety tip: Packing a winter emergency kit

Source: Automotive Fleet, November 1, 2015

There's no denying that for many, harsh winter weather is just around the corner, so now is a good time to remind fleet (and family) drivers to pack a winter emergency kit so they're prepared for the worst. Some of the items AAA recommends that drivers include are: Bag of abrasive material (sand, salt, cat litter) or traction mats, snow shovel, flashlight with extra batteries, window washer solvent, ice scraper with brush, cloth or roll of paper towels and jumper cables. To see the full list as well as a video on the topic, go to:

Many kids using safety belts should ride in booster seats

Source: IIHS Status Report, November 6, 2015

Deciding when to switch a child from a booster seat to an adult safety belt alone is still confusing for many parents. In a national online survey of 1,000 parents of booster-age children, 9 of 10 parents had moved their child out of a booster seat before they were big enough for belts. The Safe Kids Worldwide survey found 7 of 10 parents of children 4 to 10 years old didn't know that a child should be at least 4 feet 9 inches tall to ride in a car using a safety belt without a booster seat. When asked what was the deciding factor in moving their child out of a booster seat to a lap/shoulder belt, 56% of parents cited reasons other than height and weight. These included state laws, their child's comfort and their spouse's opinion. Carpools are especially tricky for some parents, Safe Kids found. One in five parents whose children carpool say they "bend the rules" when they drive, allowing children to ride without belts or without the booster or child restraint they would normally use. Two-thirds of parents say they notice other carpool drivers bending the rules, too. What's more, 21% of parents of children who carpool at least one day a week say they rarely or never talk to the other people driving the carpool about the type of restraint their own child uses. To see the full article, go to:

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Spectra Energy presented with the NETS Road Safety Achievement Award

Source: Network of Employers for Traffic Safety via Business Wire, October 27, 2015

Spectra Energy is the recipient of the inaugural Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) Road Safety Achievement Award. The award was presented at NETS' 9th annual STRENGTH IN NUMBERS® Fleet Safety Benchmark Conference in Chicago, Ill., October 14. Kevin P. Wright, manager, corporate environment, health and safety, accepted the award on behalf of Spectra Energy, one of North America's leading pipeline and midstream companies. Spectra Energy received the award for its "Driven 2B Safe" program, implemented over a four-year period. Starting in 2011, with leadership support, the company provided resources and assembled a team that spanned the organization, including members from the communications, operations, health and safety, fleet, project management, human resources, and labor relations groups. Spectra Energy also benchmarked other NETS member companies, across industries, to identify areas for improvement and subsequent implementation. To see the full news release, go to:

Prescription painkillers and the workforce

Source: NSC Safety + Health Magazine, September 27, 2015

More than 16,000 Americans died from prescription painkiller overdoses in 2013 – quadruple the total in 1999 – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers found that 65 to 85% of injured workers in most states received narcotic painkillers. Opioids – a group of drugs that include oxycodone and morphine – are prescribed by doctors to relieve pain, but can affect safety, health and productivity, as well as increase workers' compensation costs. The highly addictive drugs also can result in side effects such as confusion, drowsiness and nausea. Last February, the National Safety Council polled 1,014 adults, 427 of whom reported having been prescribed an opioid painkiller within the previous three years. Nearly half of users participated in a potentially unsafe activity while using an opioid – 39% went to work, 35% drove a vehicle and 14% operated heavy machinery. To see the full article that describes what employers can do and provides a case study, go to:

Grey fleet threat described as a 'ticking time bomb'

Source: Fleet News, October, 16, 2015

Road risk should be a priority for employers, with more than a third (39%) of work-related deaths in the EU occurring on the road. In the UK that equates to an average of 11 at-work drivers killed every week yet, visitors to Fleet Management Live heard some businesses are failing to get to grips with the issue, which is costing them an estimated £2.7 billion a year. According to the road safety charity Brake, a third (32%) of employers don't enforce the same maintenance checks and safety policies they employ with company vehicles, with the grey fleet (employees driving their own vehicles for company business). According to Brake officials, if an employer is going to allow employees to drive their own car on business, a good grey fleet policy has to be applied. It should specify a minimum NCAP safety rating or emissions level for cars driven on business, while insisting on regular checks of vehicle documents, driver's license and insurance. To see the full article, go to:

Telematics gamification emphasizes fun over 'big brother'

Source: Automotive Fleet, October 2015

In the past, when fleet drivers were confronted with the prospect of telematics, they often balked, using the refrain of "Big Brother is watching" as their biggest objection. But, for an increasing number of fleets, telematics have been transformed into a platform to engage and inspire drivers to do their best by developing driver scorecards and fostering a sense of healthy competition. The "Gamification" of telematics isn't new, but it has been building momentum to engage drivers in the company's mission. There are several reasons why gamification has taken off, including the upturn in the economy over the past couple of years. During recent tough economic times companies used the stick to motivate employees who were afraid of losing their jobs. Today, fleets are finding that it's tough to get buy in with the stick. Instead, they need to get buy in with the carrot. The smart phone has also been a driving force of telematics gamification. To see the full article, go to:

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#Stopthecrash: A new partnership promoting crash avoidance technologies

Today's crash avoidance technologies are capable of preventing many types of vehicle collisions before they happen. For example, worldwide studies have confirmed the effectiveness of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) in reducing fatalities in single vehicle crashes by as much as 40%. Launched to coincide with the publication of the recent World Health Organisation Global Status Report on Road Safety, #STOPTHECRASH is a partnership led by Global NCAP, campaigning for the widest availability of these life-saving technologies. In support of the UN's Global Goals and the Decade of Action for Road Safety, #STOPTHECRASH will focus on promoting the key safety systems with proven real world effectiveness – Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), and Anti-Lock Brakes for Motorcycles (ABS). #STOPTHECRASH will host a live demonstration of the key crash avoidance systems for delegates and media attending the 2nd Global High Level Conference on Road Safety hosted by the Brazilian government on November 17 in Brasilia. To see the full article, go to:

Euro NCAP ratings to take autonomous pedestrian detection systems into account

Source:, November 11, 2015

The European safety organization Euro NCAP has announced the introduction of a new test to ascertain the effectiveness of pedestrian detection and autonomous braking and collision avoidance systems from different manufacturers. The new Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) Pedestrian tests are based on real-world scenarios and utilize new life-like, moving dummies in a controlled environment. Euro NCAP will begin testing vehicle responses to pedestrians in simulations of three common urban scenarios: adults walking in front of the vehicle, adults running in front of the vehicle, and a child stepping out from behind a parked car. To score well on the test, the vehicle should prevent collisions at speeds up to 40 km/h (25 mph). At speeds above 40 km/h and below 60 km/h (25-37 mph), the vehicle should be able to reduce speed to less than 40 km/h before impact to make it more survivable. To see the full article, go to:

Traffic deaths preventable, WHO says in call for road safety

Source: Reuters, October 20, 2015

Countries must introduce tougher laws to prevent drivers from speeding or drinking and help reduce the toll of 1.25 million people killed each year in traffic accidents, the World Health Organization says. The United States, Indonesia and Nigeria are among countries failing to apply best practices, according to the WHO's Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015. Car-makers can also play their part, a WHO expert said. Too often safety features are sacrificed in order to keep down car prices. Halving the number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 2020 is among the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goals adopted last month by world leaders. Cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians are particularly vulnerable, accounting for 49% of fatalities, according to the organization. There is also a need to improve trauma care for the victims of traffic crashes. To view the report, go to: To see the full article, go to:

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NHTSA eyes automatic braking requirement for trucks

Source: Fleet Owner, October 15, 2015

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published a notice stating the agency plans to evaluate forward collision avoidance and mitigation (FCAM) technology with an eye toward a heavy-duty equipment mandate. A petition for such a rulemaking was submitted in February by the Truck Safety Coalition, the Center for Auto Safety, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and Road Safe America. "In work zone areas and when traffic is significantly slowed or at a complete stop, cars are particularly vulnerable to being rear ended by large trucks," John Lannen, executive director of the Truck Safety Coalition said at the time the petition was submitted. "Trucks are overrepresented in fatal highway crashes, and they are even more so in fatal work zone crashes. This is why it is imperative that F-CAM technology is required safety equipment in large trucks." In a June report on a highly publicized rear-end collision involving a Wal-Mart Transportation tractor-trailer and a luxury coach carrying actor Tracy Morgan and others, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) outlined the life-saving benefits of currently available collision avoidance systems (CAS), and the agency recommended the latest technology to be made standard. To see the full article, go to:

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Upcoming Transportation/Safety Events

In Case you missed it: 
NHTSA Drowsy Driving Forum: 
November 4-5, 2015

Asleep at the Wheel: A Nation of Drowsy Drivers

The event took place on November 4th, 2015 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on November 5th, 2015 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The agenda and webcast may still be viewed here (as of November 16):

November 18-19
2nd High Level Global Conference on Traffic Safety
Brasilia, Brazil

Hosted by the government of Brazil and supported by the World Health Organization

The Conference will bring together over 1,500 participants from 150 countries, among them Ministers of Health, Cities, Transport, and Interior; senior officials from United Nations agencies; representatives of civil society; and business leaders. A major objective of the event is to review the progress made by countries in implementing the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. NETS Executive Director, Jack Hanley, will be participating in two panel discussions. For more information on the event, go to:

November 23-29 Road Safety Week (UK)
themed "Drive less, live more"

Sponsored by Brake

For more information or to register for materials, visit Brake's website at:

November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Weekend Travel

Buckle Up America. Every Trip. Every Time. Materials are available through NHTSA at:

November 28-December 15, 2015

Pre-Holiday Season Drunk Driving Prevention:

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

Materials are available through NHTSA at:

December 16, 2015-January 1, 2016

Holiday Season Drunk Driving Prevention:

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Materials are available through NHTSA at:

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