drive focused. drive smart. get home safely.


fact/tip sheets


These informative sheets provide facts and tips relating to the two issue areas of the campaign.

You may choose to distribute the pdf files electronically for employees to view them in full or print and reproduce them for hard copy distribution.

Another option is to break up the facts and tips and send them out in electronic messages throughout the week – It’s up to you. You can view both tip/fact sheets here by scrolling down, or click below on the link to download the pdf files for easier viewing.

download pdf Drive Focused tip sheet »

download pdf Drive Smart tip sheet »


What is focused driving?

Focused driving is concentrating on the coordination of your hands, feet, eyes, ears, and body movements while deciding how to react to what you see, hear, and feel in relation to other cars and drivers, traffic signs and signals, conditions of the highway, and the performance of your car.

thoughts for the road

  • Distracted driving is the presence of anything that can distract a driver’s physical and mental attention from driving.
  • Nearly 80% of crashes and 65% of near crashes involve some form of driver inattention within three seconds preceding the event.1
  • A recent poll conducted by Nationwide Insurance indicated 98% of people feel they are safe drivers, yet nearly three-quarters report that they perform other tasks while driving.
  • It is estimated that a driver makes an average of 20 major decisions during every mile of driving.2
  • Recent simulator studies have shown that drivers on cell phones look but fail to see up to 50% of the information in the driving environment. The same studies have indicated there is no difference in the cognitive distraction between drivers using hand-held and hands-free devices.3
  • Although they tend to increase their following distance, drivers on cell phones have more rear-end crashes than drunk drivers.4
  • Text messaging continues to set usage records, according to the industry trade group. In 2008, an estimated 3.5 billion text messages were sent per day in the U.S. alone, nearly tripling the amount from the previous year. In a recent MSNBC poll, 32% of respondents admitted to texting while driving.

1 NHTSA and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 2006
2 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
3 University of Utah Simulator Study 2008
4 Ibid


Drivers to Distraction

  • Engaging in hand-held or hands-free cell phone conversations
  • Other passengers, especially children
  • Reading a road map or adjusting the navigation system
  • Dealing with shifting cargo or something that has dropped on the floor
  • Eating, drinking beverages or smoking
  • Checking PDA’s, browsing the Internet or text messaging
  • Adjusting the radio, CD player, iPod® or mp3 Player
  • Grooming
  • Driving an unfamiliar vehicle


Got Kids?

Be sure they are properly secured in an age-appropriate child passenger safety restraint.

Provide them with things to do (books, travel games, etc.) to distract them so they’re not distracting you.

Don’t hesitate to actually follow through with stopping the car! Just be sure to pull over where it’s safe and legal to do so. It may cost you a few minutes, but aren’t they worth it?

Today’s teens have grown up with technology. Texting and cellphone usage is normal, natural behavior for them. Be sure to establish strict rules with the appropriate sanctions regarding the use of these technologies while driving.

Remember they’ll do what you do. Even if your kids are far from the driving age, demonstrate now the behavior you’ll expect later on from them. Set the right example concerning the use of cell phones and texting while driving and always be mindful of your precious cargo.


tips to manage potential distractions

Ease the Pressure

If expecting an important call while driving, program your phone with a unique ring from that number, signaling you to safely pull over to take the call. Consider allowing all other calls to go to voicemail.

Increase your following distance

Driver training experts suggest a following distance of 4 seconds. The 4-second following rule increases visibility and gives more time to react to what’s happening in front of you, thus reducing the risk to you and your passengers.

Take control

On your personal vehicle, pre-set the climate control, radio and CD player. If driving an unfamiliar vehicle, take the time to identify the location of signals, wipers and lights.

Have a flight plan

Don’t wait until you are driving to plan your route. Access mapping tools such as MapQuest or Google Maps before you leave, or take advantage of services such as OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation (if available on your vehicle) or other Global Positioning Systems or services.

Buckle it up

Be sure to properly secure all cargo you may be transporting including pets, potted plants and casseroles. And buckle yourself in on every trip. It’s your best defense against the distracted drivers sharing the road with you.

Let it begin with ME

Make it a practice when you make a call to someone’s cell phone to ask if they are driving. If the response is “yes,” take it upon yourself to call them back later or ask them to return your call when they have reached their destination. If everyone did this, it would greatly reduce the number of distracted drivers sharing the roads with us.

Look at the big picture

Making or receiving a phone call while driving makes you four times more likely to be involved in a traffic crash, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Take a moment to focus on those who are counting on you to get home safely every day before you make a choice to divert your full attention from the road.

Give your tunes a tune-up

Digital music devices (iPods, mp3 players) can pose a major distraction. Pre-set a driving playlist to provide continuous tunes without the need for adjustments. Also, it is dangerous and typically illegal to drive with headphones. Only use your device if it can be played over your vehicle’s speakers.

Texting and driving don’t mix

There is no way to safely drive while texting. Texting that begins at a stoplight typically carries over to when traffic is moving again. Even if you are proficient enough that you don’t take your eyes off the road, your mind is off the road and your hands are off the wheel. JUST DON’T DO IT!



What is smart driving?

Smart driving is driving safely, but it’s also driving in an eco-friendly manner. It means making adjustments to the way we drive to reduce the impact of our driving on the environment. It involves examining what we drive, how we drive and even if we drive.

According to the EcoDrivingUSA campaign, if just half of all drivers nationwide practiced moderate levels of eco-friendly driving, annual CO2 emissions could be reduced by about 100 million tons, or the equivalent of heating and powering 8.5 million households.


tips for greener, more efficient driving

Watch your speed

According to automobile manufacturers, sticking to the speed limit is not only a safe habit, it can make a big difference in your fuel consumption. For every 10 mph you travel over 60 mph, your fuel economy drops by approximately four miles per gallon.1

Accelerate gently

Leaving a safe following distance between yourself and the car in front of you will not only result in safer driving, but more eco-friendly driving as you will have smoother braking and fewer quick starts. “Jack-rabbit” starts and sudden braking can reduce fuel economy by as much as 33%.2

Know when to use your A/C

At higher speeds, it is more efficient to use your air conditioning to keep cool because open windows disrupt the vehicle’s aerodynamics. At lower speeds, it is more efficient to open the windows.

Lighten the load

Avoid keeping unnecessary cargo in your auto, especially heavy items such as golf clubs, inessential tools and extra workrelated supplies such as sales literature. An additional 100 pounds reduces your MPG by up to 2%.3

Time for a change

Change your oil regularly, however, depending on how you drive your vehicle, this may be longer than the 3,000-mile interval many people are used to. By following the auto-maker’s recommendation, you will keep your vehicle running efficiently and you could also reduce the amount of waste oil.

Close the cap

Just making sure your gas cap is always properly secured could save you up to 30 gallons per year in evaporated fuel.4

Pump them up

You can improve your gas mileage by about 3% just by keeping your tires properly inflated. You can find the correct tire pressure recommendation for your specific vehicle on the sticker located inside the front driver-side door.5

Drive in tune

Depending on the condition of your vehicle, a simple engine tune-up can improve your fuel economy by up to 5%. Fixing larger problems such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can boost your mileage by nearly 40%.6

Shop Smart

You can start reducing your fuel consumption today, regardless of what you’re driving. But if you’re in the market for a new vehicle, you can find information about government vehicle crash tests and fuel economy ratings at and Driving a more fuel-efficient car doesn’t have to mean sacrificing safety. Many vehicles score highly in crash tests as well as fuel economy.

Get Together

Car pooling and using mass transit can reduce emissions, fuel usage and traffic congestion. The average commuter travels approximately 30 miles round-trip to work, and 86 percent drive alone.7

Let someone else do the driving

If it is available, consider public transportation. For every passenger-mile traveled, public transportation is twice as fuel-efficient as private automobiles, sport utility vehicles and light trucks. 8And, using public transportation is a great way to add productive time to your day to do things like safely using your PDA during your “drive” time to and from work.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Department of Energy
Ibid 6
Average Commuter, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics Omnibus Household Survey
Center for Transportation Excellence


got kids?

By driving green, you will be setting a great example for the kids. You’ll also be protecting the earth and conserving resources for their generation.

Create your own mass transit system. Organize carpools to your kid’s activities.

Kids need exercise. Leave the car behind and walk or bike when headed to a nearby store or park.

Require your teen drivers to pay for their own gas. They will likely drive slower (and safer) to conserve fuel.

Because kids today are already highly environmentally aware, if you practice eco-friendly driving, they might even think you’re cool.


Founded in 1989, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) is an employer-led public-private partnership dedicated to improving the safety and health of employees, their families, and members of the communities in which they live and work, by preventing traffic crashes that occur both on and off the job. The only nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to traffic safety in the workplace, NETS provides organizations of all sizes and industry-types with guidance in developing or improving their driver safety programs. For more information on NETS, visit

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©2009 Network of Employers for Traffic Safety