Decade of Action for Road Safety

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A monthly publication of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety

September 21, 2016         Summaries of timely road safety news, events, and alerts

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Drive Safely Work Week™ 2016 is almost here! Drowsy, Distracted, or Focused...Your Decisions Drive Your Safety. Download your free toolkit today and get ready for Oct. 3-7!


Joseph L. McKillips, CSP, named new Executive Director of NETS

Source: NETS press release, September 19, 2016

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) has announced the selection of Joseph McKillips as its new executive director. McKillips will fill the vacancy created by Jack Hanley's retirement from the role he held since 2008. The selection was made following a nationwide search. McKillips comes to NETS with more than 26 years of occupational health and safety experience across Abbott’s manufacturing, R&D and commercial business sectors with emphasis in the areas of process safety, loss prevention and global road safety. McKillips has been a NETS Board of Directors member representing Abbott since 2008 and served as the NETS Board Chair for 2014 and 2015. As Executive Director, McKillips will work closely with the NETS Board of Directors to implement the strategic direction of the organization by growing the benchmark program and adding to NETS' portfolio of road safety resources. McKillips will officially begin his new post on September 23 and can be reached at To see the full press release, go to:

Traffic fatalities up sharply in 2015

Source: NHTSA news release, August 29, 2016

The nation lost 35,092 people in traffic crashes in 2015, ending a 5-decade trend of declining fatalities with a 7.2% increase in deaths from 2014. The final data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed traffic deaths rising across nearly every segment of the population. The last single-year increase of this magnitude was in 1966, when fatalities rose 8.1% from the previous year. In response to the increase, DOT, NHTSA, and the White House are issuing an unprecedented call to action to involve a wide range of stakeholders in helping determine the causes of the increase. NHTSA will share its Fatality Analysis Reporting System with safety partners, state and local officials, technologists, data scientists, and policy experts. And private sector partners using new data collection technologies will be offering access to unprecedented amounts of data and new visualizations tools. "The data tell us that people die when they drive drunk, distracted, or drowsy, or if they are speeding or unbuckled," said NHTSA Administrator, Dr. Mark Rosekind. "While there have been enormous improvements in many of these areas, we need to find new solutions to end traffic fatalities." To see the full news release, go to:

As US traffic deaths soar, drivers still ignore most effective protection

Source: American Council on Science and Health, September 19, 2016

On September 21, 2002, Nils Bohlin was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his work in the late 1950's developing the three-point safety belt, which is standard equipment in cars everywhere and is widely credited with saving more than 1,000,000 lives. Bohlin passed away that same day at the age of 82. Perhaps this anniversary can be used to refocus attention on Bohlin's prized, life-saving invention, particularly given the current sharp rise in traffic fatalities across the United States -- and the biggest one-year rise in 50 years. NHTSA's most sobering statistic of all: "Almost half of passenger vehicle occupants killed were not wearing seat belts ... 48% of those killed in 2015 were unrestrained." Doing the math tells us that roughly 17,000 people needlessly died -- just in the U.S., and just in a single year -- because they failed to use a proven, time-tested device that is virtually guaranteed to safeguard their lives in the event of a crash. To see the full article, go to:

A sleepless nation: What does the lack of sleep really cost us?

Source: Forbes, August 23, 2016

It's hard to escape the growing amount of research and media attention placed on the importance of sleep. Lack of sleep, both in duration and quality, is being tied to weight gain, comorbidities, anxiety, depression, accidents, earning potential and productivity. While stress and lifestyle decisions contribute to many people's sleep problems, there is an under-diagnosed medical condition that affects the sleep of 30 million Americans, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a serious and life-threatening sleep illness that is defined by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) as a sleep-related breathing disorder that involves a decrease or cessation in airflow during sleep, despite an ongoing effort to breathe. To see the full article, go to:

Truck-involved fatalities increased 4.4% in 2015, DOT says

Source:, August 31, 2016

Truck-involved crashes resulting in fatalities increased by 4.4% in 2015 over the previous year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's final 2015 fatalities report released at the end of August. NHTSA's report says there were 4,067 truck-involved fatalities, which is the highest number since 2008. Of the 4,067 fatalities, 667 (16.4%) were occupants of the trucks, 10.1 percent were non-occupants and 73.5% were occupants of other vehicles. NHTSA's report doesn't account for crash fault. In total, there were 35,092 people killed in crashes in the U.S. in 2015, a 7.2% increase from 2014, which is the largest increase in highway fatalities since 1966, according to NHTSA. There was also a significant increase in the number of people injured in crashes in 2015, rising from 2.34 million in 2014 to 2.44 million in 2015. These numbers are slightly lower than NHTSA predicted in its preliminary report released in July. To see the full article, go to:

ATA's Share the Road program rolls out comprehensive truck safety video

Source: American Trucking Association, September 1, 2016

The American Trucking Associations and ATA's Share the Road highway safety program launched the Share the Road Instructional Video to demonstrate safe-driving techniques ahead of a busy Labor Day weekend. Share the Road's new instructional video addresses the 21st century's most prevalent dangerous driving habit – distracted driving – and explains the various ways that drivers may become distracted while driving. According to Share the Road professional truck drivers, eating, drinking or watching videos are activities that can be just as hazardous as texting and are done by motorists of all ages. The primary focus of Share the Road's highway safety campaign is to share information about blind spots and the Share the Road Instructional Video takes viewers through each of the four truck blind spots, explaining what a truck driver can and cannot see from the cab of his or her truck. To see the full article, including a link to the video, go to:

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How LED headlights illuminate the road ahead

Source: Automotive Fleet, September 2016

LED headlights have gradually become a commonplace addition to new-vehicle models, taking over for halogen headlights. But this transition is more than just a technological evolution. It has had benefits for the way drivers are driving during and after business hours in low-light level situations. Improvements include better illumination and beam focus. LED headlights can illuminate dark roadways 25% farther than their halogen counterparts, and high-beam settings on LEDs offer a significant improvement over low-beam settings, according to a study from AAA. Halogen headlights add an improvement because they are much better at projecting the beam precisely where it needs to go. To see the full article, go to:

2016 likelihood of collision with a deer

Source: State Farm press release, September 20, 2016

In many U.S. states, drivers are all too familiar with deer crossing signs, but do they really know how close the danger may be? State Farm has released its annual deer claim study, which ranks states by the potential drivers had of hitting a large animal, including deer, elk and moose over a given time period. On average, one of every 41 West Virginia drivers will have an insurance claim for damage caused by a collision with a deer in 2016. Other top states for deer or elk collisions are Montana, Pennsylvania, Iowa and South Dakota. The likelihood of colliding with a large animal more than doubles during the months of October, November and December, during deer mating season. Whether you hit a large animal or it jumps into the side of your vehicle, such collisions can cause significant injuries and property damage. No matter where you live, it's important to keep your eyes up and focus on the road, helping you take action in the event a large animal is suddenly in your path. Some other tips to help keep drivers safe include, slowing down, particularly at dusk and dawn, and if you see one deer, be prepared for more deer to cross the road. To see the full news release, go to:

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eDriving provides RoadRISK® assessment tool For Drive Safely Work Week™

Source: eDriving via PRNewswire, September 15, 2016

eDriving, the largest provider of online driver training and global driver risk management solutions, is proud to provide the free RoadRISK® assessment tool for Drive Safely Work Week™ 2016 (DSWW). The proactive driver risk assessment is designed to help drivers assess their probability of being involved in an incident or collision and is available as part of a free, comprehensive online toolkit that can be downloaded at The toolkit is designed to help employers plan for the annual workplace safe driving campaign that takes place October 3-7 and is targeted to all employees—company drivers and commuters alike. The theme of this year's DSWW campaign—sponsored by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS)—is "Drowsy, Distracted or Focused …Your Decisions Drive Your Safety," which seeks to improve the driving safety of employees, employee family members and their communities. The eDriving RoadRISK assessment is highlighted as a recommended campaign activity to engage employees and to kick off the first of five themed days. To see the full news release, go to:

NIOSH launches Business Pulse: Motor Vehicle Safety at Work

NIOSH recently worked with the CDC Foundation to launch Business Pulse: Motor Vehicle Safety at Work. This interactive resource can help employers prevent work-related crashes by providing them with information on the human and economic impact of workplace crashes, policy checklists, and more. Crashes remain the leading cause of injury death at work. Crash risk affects workers in all industries and occupations, whether they drive heavy or light vehicles, and whether driving is their main or incidental job. In addition to having a devastating impact on workers and their families, friends, and communities, workplace crashes are costly. In 2013 alone, on-the-job motor vehicle crashes cost U.S. employers $25 billion. Motor vehicle crashes are complex events, so preventing them demands a multi-pronged approach. Learn more about best employer practices and policies to keep workers safe on the road in a new Q&A with NIOSH CMVS Director Stephanie Pratt and Dane Bremer, Director of Corporate Safety and Global Business Continuity for Liberty Mutual (and chairperson of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety—NETS). NIOSH is a federal liaison to the board of directors of NETS, represented by Dr. Stephanie Pratt. To see the full article, go to:

Q&A: J&J Worldwide Fleet Safety Director, Sandy Lee

Source: Behind the Wheel At Work, NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety, September 2016

Sandy Lee is the Director, Worldwide Fleet Safety with global responsibility for Johnson & Johnson's SAFE Fleet, providing services to over 33,000 drivers. Lee has over 25 years of experience in the field of health promotion, disease prevention, providing employee health, wellness, and occupational road safety services in both domestic and global roles over the span of her career. (Sandy Lee represents J&J on the NETS Board of Directors.) To see the Q&A, go to:

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NHTSA seeking comment on distracted/drowsy driving guidelines

Source: The Trucker News Services, August 22, 2016

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is seeking comment on an amendment to national highway safety program guidelines on distracted and drowsy driving. Federal law requires NHTSA to develop uniform guidelines for state highway safety programs, and NHTSA said in a Federal Register notice that it believes the guideline will provide more accurate, current and effective guidance to states regarding distracted and drowsy driving. The guidelines are broken into eight categories: program management; multidisciplinary involvement; legislation regulation and policy; law enforcement; highway and traffic engineering; communication program; driver education and licensing; and evaluation. In 2014, there were 3,179 people killed and an estimated additional 431,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distraction-affected drivers. To see the full article, go to:

For information on where to submit comments, go to:

U.S. driving up 3.3% in first half of 2016, new federal data show

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, August 22, 2016

New data released by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that U.S. driving reached 1.58 trillion miles in the first six months of 2016, beating the previous record of 1.54 trillion miles set last year. For a sense of scale, 1.58 trillion miles is about 250 roundtrips from Earth to Pluto. The new data show that more than 282 billion miles were driven in June 2016 alone which is a slight increase over the previous June. The increase in driving highlights the growing demands facing the nation's roads and reaffirms the importance of the "Fixing America's Surface Transportation" (FAST) Act, which is investing $305 billion in America's surface transportation infrastructure until 2020. At 8.6%, Hawaii led the nation with the largest unadjusted single-state traffic percent increase compared to the same month a year earlier, followed by Idaho and Utah at 5.1% each. North Dakota had the nation's only unadjusted traffic decrease for the month. To see the full article, go to:

U.S. DOT issues federal policy for safe testing and deployment of automated vehicles

Source: NHTSA press release, September 20, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation is issuing federal policy for automated vehicles, laying a path for the safe testing and deployment of new auto technologies that have enormous potential for improving safety and mobility for Americans on the road. The policy sets a proactive approach to providing safety assurance and facilitating innovation through four key parts. Vehicle performance guidance uses a 15-point Safety Assessment to set clear expectations for manufacturers developing and deploying automated vehicle technologies. Model state policy delineates the Federal and State roles for the regulation of highly automated vehicle technologies as part of an effort to build a consistent national framework of laws to govern self-driving vehicles. Finally, the policy outlines options for the further use of current federal authorities to expedite the safe introduction of highly automated vehicles into the marketplace, as well as discusses new tools and authorities the federal government may need as the technology evolves and is deployed more widely. To see the full release, including a summary of each section of the policy go to:

2015 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview

Source: Traffic Safety Facts Research Note, NHTSA, August 2016

This Research Note provides a brief overview of the 2015 fatal crash picture using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), a census of motor vehicle fatal traffic crashes in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and the National Automotive Sampling System General Estimates System (NASS GES), a nationally representative sample of police reported motor vehicle crashes.

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Upcoming Transportation/Safety Events

September 18-24, 2016 
Child Passenger Safety Week

Visit NHTSA's Traffic Safety Marketing for more information and materials:

September 24, 2016 
National Seat Check Saturday


October 3-7 
Drive Safely Work Week 
"Drowsy, Distracted or Focused…Your Decisions Drive Your Safety"

Materials available now! This year's campaign is about encouraging ALL employees (not just those driving on behalf of the company) to take a hard look at what they do—or don't do—that could make them a contributor to the 94% of all traffic crashes that are a result of driver behavior. The materials place an emphasis on the importance of healthy sleep habits, as research demonstrates a growing risk associated with fatigued and drowsy driving.

Download your free toolkit today!

October 12-13, 2016 
NETS' STRENGTH IN NUMBERS Fleet Safety Benchmark Conference 
Orlando Marriott World Center

NETS' annual STRENGTH IN NUMBERS® Fleet Safety Conference is marking its 10th year, and for the first time is open to non-NETS members! Join your fleet safety peers at this important event. For more information or to register, go to:

October 16-22, 2016 
National Teen Driver Safety Week 
Sponsored by NHTSA

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-18 year olds in the US. Yet, a survey showed that only 25% of parents have had a serious talk with their kids about the key components of driving. Parents need to take the time to talk with their kids about the many dangers of driving. Those dangers include alcohol, seat belts, texting, speeding, and extra passengers.

For materials to share with employee-parents, go to:

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