Employer Focus on Distracted Driving Building Momentum as 2nd DOT Summit Convenes

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Momentum is building on an important front in the battle against distracted driving – the workplace—according to the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS).

NETS, a public-private partnership comprised of leading companies and the federal government, is actively encouraging employers to enact workplace mobile device policies– the primary focus of this year’s Drive Safely Work Week (DSWW) campaign, sponsored annually by the organization.

NETS is seeing the highest level of interest in the 14-year history of the campaign, recognized nationally this year Oct. 4-8. The organization attributes the increase to its partnership with the U.S. DOT and the campaign’s focus on launching a sustainable mobile device policy. NETS was recognized for its efforts at today’s 2nd National Distracted Driving Summit in Washington DC, convened by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

“NETS has been a terrific partner in helping us encourage the business community to adopt distracted driving policies,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “By putting these policies in place, businesses across the country are helping us protect tens of millions of more drivers and reduce preventable deaths and injuries.”

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death and injury in the workplace and according to results of a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month, cost Americans more than $99 billion in lost productivity and medical costs each year.

“The most effective way to modify driving behavior is by combining policy, education and enforcement,” said Bill Windsor, NETS Chairman. “Employers are in a unique position to apply all three of these key elements to influence behavior and reduce the occurrence of distracted driving in the workplace.”

In addition to the Drive Safely Work Week campaign, NETS conducts the annual STRENGTH IN NUMBERS Road Safety Benchmark Study. The 2009 study, based on a combined U.S. fleet of 191,669 passenger vehicles, found that a total ban on mobile phone use while driving was a common attribute of the companies with the best road safety performance.

About DSWW

Drive Safely Work Week is observed nationally each year during the first full week of October; however, the materials are not dated and may be used anytime throughout the year. The DSWW tool kit provides easy-to-use Web-based resources to support targeted activities for each day of the campaign week. These include electronic tools, downloadable graphics and daily communications messages. At press time, nearly 4000 employers of all sizes had downloaded the campaign materials, available at no charge through 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 leading companies including Abbott, AmeriFleet Transportation, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Chubb Group of Insurance, Johnson & Johnson, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, Nationwide Mutual Insurance, Monsanto Company and UPS. Established in 1989, NETS is 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. For more information about NETS, visit www.trafficsafety.org or contact Jack Hanley, NETS Executive Director, at jhanley@trafficsafety.org.