Decade of Action for Road Safety

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A monthly publication of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety

April 15, 2016         Summaries of timely road safety news, events, and alerts

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Speed limit increases cause 33,000 deaths in 20 years

Source: IIHS, April 12, 2016

A new IIHS study shows that increases in speed limits over two decades have cost 33,000 lives in the U.S. In 2013 alone, the increases resulted in 1,900 additional deaths, essentially canceling out the number of lives saved by frontal airbags that year. Maximum speed limits are set by the states, and they have been on the rise since 1995. However, during most of the 1970s and 1980s, the threat of financial penalties held state speed limits to 55 mph. In 1973, Congress required that states adopt 55 mph as their maximum speed limit in order to receive their share of highway funds. Concerns over fuel availability, rather than safety, had prompted Congress to pass the measure, known as the National Maximum Speed Limit, but the most dramatic result was a decrease in fatalities. In 1987, with energy concerns fading, Congress relaxed the restriction, allowing states to increase speed limits to 65 mph on rural interstates. The law was completely repealed in 1995. To see the full article, go to:

First-ever IIHS headlight ratings show most need improvement

Source: IIHS News, March 30, 2016

The Toyota Prius V is the only midsize car out of 31 evaluated to earn a good rating in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's first-ever headlight ratings. The best available headlights on 11 cars earn an acceptable rating, while nine only reach a marginal rating. Ten of the vehicles can't be purchased with anything other than poor-rated headlights. A vehicle's price tag is no guarantee of decent headlights. Many of the poor-rated headlights belong to luxury vehicles. The ability to see the road ahead, along with any pedestrians, bicyclists or obstacles, is an obvious essential for drivers. However, government standards for headlights, based on laboratory tests, allow huge variation in the amount of illumination that headlights provide in actual on-road driving. With about half of traffic deaths occurring either in the dark or in dawn or dusk conditions, improved headlights have the potential to bring about substantial reductions in fatalities. To see the full article, go to:

Few drivers use their high beams, study finds

Source: IIHS Status Report, March 30, 2016

While the headlights on most cars need improvement, there is one simple thing that drivers can do to improve visibility in any vehicle: use their high beams. A recent study, however, shows that drivers rarely turn them on. The finding supports the Institute's decision to award extra credit in its new headlight ratings for high-beam assist, a feature that automatically switches between low beams and high beams, depending on whether other vehicles are present. Reasons for not using high-beams "may be that drivers are being too polite and keeping their 'brights' off whenever there are other vehicles in sight — even if those vehicles are far enough away not to be bothered by the glare," IIHS Senior Research Scientist Ian Reagan says. "Another possibility is that they are simply forgetting to switch to high beams. A third possible explanation is that drivers believe they see fine without them," Reagan adds. "If that's the case, they may not see the point in purchasing a vehicle with high-beam assist and activating the feature." To see the full article, go to:

Sleep apnea study benefiting road safety

Source: Behind the Wheel, April 1, 2016

Logistics company Schneider is being credited for helping road safety and the health of its truck drivers following a decade-long sleep apnea screening and treatment program. Conducted by the University of Minnesota, the study, which is believed to be a first among large logistics companies, has been screening truck drivers for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and monitoring treatment adherence by the drivers. Now the program is being hailed as having a dramatic and positive effect on road safety with the study findings being accepted for publication in the medical journal 'Sleep'. The study involved more than 1,600 Schneider drivers with OSA and an equal number of control drivers with comparable job experience and tenure and saw drivers receive a treatment machine that could be used at home and in the truck sleeper berth. To see the full article, go to:

Why Aetna pays employees hundreds of dollars to sleep

Source: Louisville Business First, April 6, 2016

Need a little more sleep? If you work for Aetna Inc., you can get paid to do it. CEO Mark Bertolini thinks getting some shuteye is "really important," so he pays his employees as much as $500 to get more of it, according to CNBC News. "You can't be prepared if you're half-asleep," he said in an interview with CNBC. "Being present in the workplace and making better decisions has a lot to do with our business fundamentals. The program uses fitness trackers to keep track of how much sleep the employees get. If they sleep for seven or more hours a night for 20 nights in a row, Aetna will pay them $25 for each night. The cap is $500 per year. Seven hours is the minimum amount of nightly sleep recommended by the National Institutes of Health, CNBC reported. But according to a report from McKinsey & Company Insights, about 43% of 196 business leaders surveyed said there are several days a week where they don't get enough sleep. To see the full article, go to:

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History of falling increases crash risk by 40% for older drivers

Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Press Release, March 24, 2016

Older drivers with a history of falling are 40% more likely to be involved in crashes than their peers, according to a new study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Falls limit an older drivers' ability to function behind the wheel and can make driving risky for themselves and others on the road. These findings are important since annually a record 12 million older adults will experience a fall. The report, Associations Between Falls and Driving Outcomes in Older Adults, is the latest research released in the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's Longitudinal Research on Aging Drivers (LongROAD) project. Researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus along with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety say that falls can increase crash risk in two ways: Falls can result in a loss of functional ability (i.e. wrist fractures or a broken leg), which can make it difficult for older drivers to steer or brake to avoid a crash and falls can increase an individual's fear of falling, which can lead to a decrease in physical activity that weakens driving skills. To see the full press release, go to: To view the study, go to:

Drivers feel pressured to 'stay connected'

Source: Automotive Fleet, April 4, 2016

Despite growing efforts to educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving, a new National Safety Council survey suggests that most American drivers still feel pressured by family and work to constantly stay connected so they can respond to calls and messages. The survey, released in conjunction with the beginning of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, found that 82% of Americans feel the most pressure from their families. A total of 54% of drivers indicated they still feel pressure from work. The finding not only sheds light on why Americans continue to drive distracted, but also underscores their ongoing struggle to accurately assess risk. Two-thirds of drivers felt unsafe because of another driver's distraction, but far fewer — just 25% — recognized that their own distractions have put themselves or others at risk. To see the full article, go to:

VIDEO: New Zealand's awkward road safety campaign will make sure you are not distracted while driving

Source:, April 1, 2016

Passengers, do you feel uncomfortable every time the driver is distracted by their mobile phones while behind the wheel? How about some unexpected physical contact to solve the dangerous behavior? That's the idea behind the New Zealand Transport Authority's new road safety campaign. The campaign, titled 'Hello', uses Lionel Ritchie's hit song in a manner that results in the drivers' eyes being wide open and blank faces each time they even consider reaching for the phone. Calling it creepy, awkward or perfect is very much dependent on the viewer. We won't spoil the content here, but it is quite a humorous ad to watch. To see the full article with a link to the short video, go to:

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Feds urge companies to adopt distracted driving policies

Source: Automotive Fleet, April 6, 2016

As part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is encouraging employers to enact a company policy on distracted driving. Employers can download a sample policy and customize it to meet their own needs. The agency is also recommending that companies distribute pledge forms to employees and urge them to share the form with friends and family. In 2014, 3,179 people were killed and an additional 431,000 were injured in collisions involving distracted drivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. That same year, inattention collisions resulted in the death of 104 people and the injury of 11,436 others in California, according to NHTSA. To see the full article, go to:

Get the second issue of Behind the Wheel at Work eNewsletter

Source: NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety

The NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety recently released the second issue of Behind the Wheel at Work, a quarterly eNewsletter covering work-related motor vehicle safety topics. This issue features many user-friendly resources to help employers improve motor vehicle safety at work, including distracted driving-related tips, how to keep older drivers safe in the workplace, and ways to check your knowledge of advanced vehicle safety features. Access the newsletter here: You may subscribe to the free quarterly eNewsletter by scrolling down to the bottom of the above link.

NEW Fact Sheet—Older Drivers in the Workplace: How Employers and Workers Can Prevent Crashes

Source: NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicles Safety, March 2016

This fact sheet provides information on how changes associated with aging may affect older workers' driving and ability to recover from a crash injury. Older workers bring extensive skills, knowledge, and experience to their jobs. But, workers age 55 or older are at a higher risk of dying in a motor vehicle crash at work compared to younger adult workers. Use the provided checklists that feature action steps and resources to help you, your co-workers, and your employees continue driving safely. To view the fact sheet, go to:

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Europe's car safety framework needs 'overhaul'

Source: European Transport Safety Council (ETSC Press Release), March 22, 2016

Vehicle safety innovations are still benefitting too few road users in Europe due to an over-reliance on a voluntary testing program rather than regulatory standards, according to a new report by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC). For almost twenty years, increases in levels of car safety in Europe have been driven mainly by the voluntary Euro NCAP program which awards the safest cars with a 5-star rating. But according to new data, only around half of new vehicles sold in 2013 had been awarded 5 stars by Euro NCAP during the 2010-13 testing cycle. One popular model, the Dacia Duster, received only 3 stars and performed particularly poorly in pedestrian safety crash tests. According to ETSC, the main block to faster progress on safety is that legally-mandated safety standards are years out of date. A car that only meets the current minimum safety standards in the EU would receive a zero-star rating today from Euro NCAP according to the report. Euro NCAP only tests a selection of vehicles each year, and also does not test every variant of each model. The EU is set to revise vehicle safety standards, as well as the vehicle 'type approval' process over the coming year. To see the full article, go to:

ETSC PRAISE project resources and events

Source: ETSC via Interactive Driving Systems News

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) Preventing Road Accidents and Injuries for the Safety of Employees (PRAISE) project continues to provide a range of excellent resources and events for managing at-work drivers. The most recent publications have focused on building road safety into supply chains through procurement and managing young drivers in the workplace. All the reports and more details about the project are freely available at:

EU-OSHA e-guide on vehicle safety at work launched

Source: EU-OSHA

The guide is targeted to employers, employees and safety experts of the transportation sector. After several years in development, the EU-OSHA e-guide on vehicle safety (VeSafe) and driving at work has been launched, providing a range of good practices. It also identifies that the vehicle is part of the workplace under Safety Framework Directive 89/391/EEC. This requires employers to evaluate the risks to the health and safety of their workers and take the necessary control measures. VeSafe can be accessed via:

Nissan Tsuru has been involved in over 4,000 deaths between 2007 and 2012 in Mexico

Source: Latin NCAP News, April 5, 2016

The latest research report launched by Latin NCAP "Car Industry in Mexico – Safety Issues Nissan Mexicana Tsuru" reveals that the Nissan Tsuru, which is manufactured in Mexico, has been involved in at least 4,000 deaths in the country between 2007 and 2012. Between 2007 and 2012, there were 2011 crashes involving fatalities with this model resulting in 4,102 deaths. This represents an annual average of 335 crashes and 684 deaths. The Nissan Tsuru was tested by Latin NCAP in 2013 and scored zero stars for adult occupant and for child occupant protection. David Ward, Global NCAP Secretary General said: "By continuing to sell the Tsuru in Mexico, Nissan are exploiting the lack of crash test standards and exposing their customers to an entirely avoidable risk of death and serious injury. Ahead of the application of UN Safety Standards, Nissan should do the right thing and withdraw from sale this sub-standard and unsafe model." To see the full article, go to:

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U.S. DOT and IIHS announce historic commitment of 20 automakers to make automatic emergency braking standard on new vehicles

Source: NHTSA Press Release, March 17, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have announced a historic commitment by 20 automakers representing more than 99% of the U.S. auto market to make automatic emergency braking (AEB) a standard feature on virtually all new cars no later than NHTSA's 2022 reporting year, which begins Sept 1, 2022. The unprecedented commitment means that this important safety technology will be available to more consumers more quickly than would be possible through the regulatory process. AEB systems help prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying the brakes for the driver. The systems use on-vehicle sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver and apply the brakes if the driver does not take sufficient action quickly enough. To see the full press release, go to:

New Research: Evaluation of the Safety Benefits of the Risk Awareness and Perception Training Program for Novice Teen Drivers

Source: Update from NHTSA's Office of Behavioral Safety Research, March 2016

This project evaluated the impact of the Risk Awareness and Perception Training (RAPT) program on young driver crashes and traffic violations. A total of 5,251 young drivers 16 to 18 years old were recruited after passing on-road driving exams at six California DMV licensing offices. They were assigned to a group who completed the RAPT program or a comparison group who received pre-tests but did not receive any training. Their crash and violation records were tracked for 12 months post-licensure. Analyses showed substantial improvements in trainee performance. Crash analyses did not show an overall main effect for treatment, but there was a significant treatment by sex interaction effect. Analyses were then conducted for males and females separately to explore this interaction. The results showed a significant treatment effect for males but not for females. RAPT-trained males showed an approximately 23.7% lower crash rate relative to the male comparison group. For females, the RAPT group had an estimated 10.7% higher crash rate than the comparison group, but this increase was not statistically significant. A PDF of the report may be downloaded here: (2.6MB)

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Upcoming Transportation/Safety Events

National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Free employer toolkits are available via DriveSmart Virginia here:

Or the National Safety Council here:

For additional materials to share with employees, see the NETS Drive Safely Work Week campaign archives.

DSWW 2014: Driving Your Safety Culture Home

DSWW 2011: Focus 360°: Getting There Safely is Everyone's Business

DSWW 2010: Focus- Safe Driving is Serious Business

May 5, 2016
Cinco de Mayo Drunk Driving Prevention

Cinco de Mayo has become a big night out for many, particularly among young adults. But it is also a very dangerous night out because of alcohol-impaired drivers. Those celebrating should be sure to designate their sober driver in advance - before the festivities begin.

For campaign materials from NHTSA's Traffic Safety Marketing that can be shared with employees, go to:

May 6, 2016
NSC Employer Cell Phone Policy Seminar
Hilton Arlington, Dallas/Fort Worth
8:30am – 3:30pm

NETS Board of Directors member Joe McKillips of Abbott will be a featured speaker. For more information or to register, go to: (fee required to register)

May 10, 2016
NTSB Pedestrian Safety Forum
9am – 5pm ET

The forum will address various aspects of pedestrian safety including exposure and risk data, urban planning and policy, infrastructure design, other safety interventions, and vehicle-based solutions. For more information and to receive future emails about the forum, please email John Brown at

You may attend in person or via webcast.
NTSB Board Room and Conference Center
429 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20594

June 26-29
ASSE SAFETY 2016 Professional Development Conference and Exposition
Atlanta, GA

NETS Board of Directors' member Dr. Stephanie Pratt of NIOSH, Jack Hanley, NETS Executive Director and Tony Vinciguerra of the Center for Transportation and Safety (an Elements Financial Company) will present together on fleet safety benchmarking. For more information or to register, go to:

August 2-5
International Conference on Traffic and Transport Psychology
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Theme: "UN Decade of Action for Road Safety: The Half-way Point"

Held every four years, ICTTP has achieved a long-standing and highly-regarded reputation as the leading international gathering in the field of traffic and transport psychology.

For more information or to register, go to:

Save the date!

October 3-7
Drive Safely Work Week

More details available soon.

October 4-5
"The Roads Between Us" Road Safety Workshop
Kuala Lumpur

The event will be held over one and a half days, from 4-5 October 2016, and will be free to attend (including all refreshments and meals), with participants responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs. Sponsored by Nestlé, Zurich Insurance and the Global Road Safety Partnership.

More details available soon.

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