Decade of Action for Road Safety

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A monthly publication of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety

August 22, 2016         Summaries of timely road safety news, events, and alerts

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


NETS says to drivers: Your Decisions Drive Your Safety

Drive Safely Work Week™ 2016 Toolkit Launched

Source: NETS Press Release, August 17, 2016

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) has launched a free comprehensive online toolkit to help employers plan for Drive Safely Work Week™ (DSWW). The October 3-7 workplace campaign seeks to improve the safety of employees, employee family members and their communities. The campaign theme this year is "Drowsy, Distracted or Focused—Your Decisions Drive Your Safety". The free toolkit may be downloaded at: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver behavior contributes to 94% of all traffic crashes. Campaign materials call on drivers—company drivers and commuters—to take a hard look at what they do behind the wheel (or before getting behind the wheel) that could be increasing their risk of a crash, starting with the importance of being well-rested. To see the full press release, go to:

New report spotlights dangers of drowsy driving

Source: GHSA News Release, August 8, 2016

In today's fast-paced society, Americans are sacrificing sleep, which too often leads to tragic consequences on our roadways. A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), Wake Up Call! Understanding Drowsy Driving and What States Can Do, points out that nearly 83.6 million sleep-deprived Americans are driving every day. And it's taking a toll - an estimated 5,000 lives were lost in drowsy driving-related crashes last year. The report was funded through a grant from State Farm® with guidance from an expert panel. The extreme danger posed by tired drivers has prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to expand its definition of impaired driving to include not only drunk, drugged and distracted, but also drowsy. In a newly available NHTSA estimate provided to GHSA for this report, the agency reveals the annual societal cost of fatigue-related fatal and injury crashes is a staggering $109 billion, not including property damage. To see the full news release, go to:

Download the full report here:

Advanced vehicle technology not reducing breakdowns

Source:, July 20, 2016

Results from a new study show that despite advances in vehicle technology, including maintenance reminders and other dashboard alerts designed to mitigate roadside trouble, AAA rescued a record-breaking 32 million drivers in 2015, with more battery, flat tire and key problems than ever before. AAA says vehicles fewer than five years old in particular experienced a higher proportion of tire and key-related issues than older vehicles, suggesting that the trend toward eliminating the spare tire and moving to electronic keyless ignitions may have unintended consequences. Owners of new vehicles may be unaware that some new vehicle designs and features may leave them vulnerable at the roadside. To reduce vehicle weight and boost fuel economy, spare tires are being eliminated from new vehicles at alarming rates, and are being replaced with tire inflator kits that can only remedy some flat tire situations. To see the full article, go to:

Cheaper gasoline is knocking U.S. vehicle efficiency off course

Source: Reuters, July 20, 2016

Substantial improvements in vehicle fuel economy are a centerpiece of the U.S. government's plan to cut greenhouse emissions and meet commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement. But the reductions risk being thrown off course as cheaper gasoline encourages customers to buy larger and more fuel-hungry vehicles than anticipated when the standards were finalized. By 2016, the agency had revised its projection for travel up to 3,126 billion miles and its fuel efficiency projection down to 27.6 miles per gallon. The result is that forecasted gasoline consumption in 2025 has been raised from 7.13 million to 7.66 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. The longer oil prices remain low, the more trucks will enter the fleet by 2025, and the further off course the fuel economy and greenhouse emissions targets will go. To see the full article, go to:

American drivers fail to secure their loads

Source: Automotive Fleet, August 15, 2015

AAA is urging drivers to properly secure their loads to prevent dangerous debris. From 2011 through 2014, more than 200,000 crashes involving debris on U.S. roadways occurred, according to a new study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The crashes resulted in 39,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths. About two-thirds of debris-related crashes are the result of items falling from a vehicle due to improper maintenance and unsecured loads. The most common types of vehicle debris are:

  • Parts detached from a vehicle (tires, wheels, etc.) that fall onto the roadway
  • Unsecured cargo such as furniture, appliances, and other items falling onto the roadway
  • Tow trailers becoming separated and hitting another vehicle or landing on the roadway.

Nearly 37% of all deaths in road debris crashes resulted from the driver swerving to avoid hitting an object. Overcorrecting at the last moment to avoid debris can increase a driver's risk of losing control of their vehicle and make a bad situation worse. For tips on how drivers can decrease their chances of being involved in a road debris crash, see the full article here:

Report: German Olympic coach wasn't belted in Rio taxi crash that claimed his life

Source: The Daily Mail (UK), August 16, 2016

A German coach has died after a high-speed crash near the Olympic park. Stefan Henze, 35, a former Olympic silver medalist and current German kayak women's team coach, died of head injuries, three days after the crash. The collision happened as he was returning to the Athletes' Village in a taxi. Katini (a passenger) and the taxi driver escaped with cuts and bruises, but Henze, who wasn't wearing a seat belt, hit his head in the collision, according to a statement from the German Olympic contingent. To see the full article, go to:

Prevent heatstroke deaths of children left in cars

Source: Chicago Tribune, July 21, 2016

There have been 680 deaths in the United States from adults leaving a young child in a hot vehicle. That is 37 deaths per year that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says are "100 percent preventable." The number appeared to be on the decline thanks in part to NHTSA's "Where's baby? Look before you lock" public education campaign launched four years ago. There were 31 deaths in 2014 and 24 in 2015, but in 2016 there has been a spike to 19 deaths as of mid-July. More than half of those deaths are of children under 2 years of age, according to research by Jan Null for Heatstroke deaths most often happen when children lock themselves in a car while playing, or a caregiver unaccustomed to transporting a child forgets the child sleeping in the back.  Heatstroke can occur even with outside temperatures as low as the 60s. With external temps in the 60s the interior of a car can heat up above 110 degrees. A child can die of heatstroke once body temperature reaches 107 degrees, according to NHTSA. To see the full article, including tips on preventing these deaths, go to:

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Tighten teens' nighttime driving restrictions: CDC

Source: UPI, July 28, 2016

Getting U.S. teens out of the driver's seat before midnight would reduce their risk of fatal crashes, federal health officials said in a new report. One-third of fatal teen car crashes occur at night, with 57% of those taking place before 12 a.m., according to new statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But while 49 states restrict nighttime driving as part of a graduated licensing program, 23 prohibit driving only after midnight -- well past the time most teens are off the road, the CDC reported. Driving after dark raises the risk for fatal crashes across all age groups. But driving at night is especially challenging for teens because of their inexperience, so every state except Vermont has nighttime driving restrictions. However, just 26 states want young drivers off the road before midnight, the CDC reported. To see the full article, go to:

Safe Kids USA launches interactive graphic with tips for getting to and from school safely

As kids are preparing to head back to school, Safe Kids Worldwide has launched an exciting new interactive graphic, How Do Your Kids Get to School? The graphic provides smart tips on how to get children to and from school safely, whether they walk, ride the bus, carpool or bike. To view the graphic, go to:

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Driver data, fewer accidents

Source: NH Business Review, August 11, 2016

Motor vehicle crashes cost U.S. companies a staggering $47 billion annually, according to a 2015 study by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety. While that number is eye-popping, what causes the majority of crashes in the U.S. is hardly a surprise. Distracted driving and speeding top the U.S. Department of Transportation's list, not only for damage, but also for fatalities. Working with drivers to foster safe habits is challenging. Every employer with drivers on the job grapples with the associated risks and the irony that the smartphones on which they rely can increase those risks. While one side of the technology equation may be a culprit, emerging technology such as crash avoidance, lane-departure alarms, blind-spot sensors, rear cameras, and telematics give drivers feedback that encourages safer habits. Telematics can also give organizations the ability to monitor and measure driving behaviors and be proactive in identifying drivers at high risk for a collision. To see the full article, go to:

Consider the risks before placing advertisements on your business vehicles

Source: Norther Kentucky Tribune, July 28, 2016

There are two schools of thought when it comes to making the decision to add graphics, wraps, decals and signage to company vehicles. Some are hesitant to use vehicle branding because they believe it increases company liability in the event of a crash. The theory is that adding these moving billboards to vehicles will increase the likelihood of costly litigation should it be involved in a collision, which in turn will increase insurance rates. Other business owners realize that their vehicles drive past thousands of people every day who could become customers, prospects, vendors and/or investors. Unmarked with company branding, they will pass unnoticed, resulting in missed opportunity for growing your business. Graphics or decals create and increase awareness of company brands, business strategies and services. Business vehicles with obvious branding may be at a higher risk for vandalism. Those branded vehicles carrying valuables, such as tools, have a higher risk exposure for theft. To see the full article, go to:

NIOSH seeking input on its Center for Motor Vehicle Safety

Have your voice heard! NIOSH is seeking input on the progress and future direction of its Center for Motor Vehicle Safety to ensure that the program is addressing goals outlined in the Center's 5-year strategic plan, meeting stakeholder needs, and working effectively toward its overarching purpose of preventing work-related crashes and injuries. NIOSH is especially interested in comments that address: research priorities, communications and outreach, and use of NIOSH products. To get more information on where to submit your comments and/or how to attend the web meeting on September 14, 2016, go to:

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International road safety

Corporations must play a vital role in improving road safety in the UAE

Source:, July 31, 2016

The ambitious targets of the UAE government's 'UAE Vision 2021' for reducing road fatalities demand the support of the entire nation and UAE's corporations must play a vital role in achieving those targets. More and more corporations are rising to the challenge, becoming increasingly aware of their critical role. Thought-leading corporations and management develop holistic programs focusing on road safety to educate and protect their staff, customers and consumers. Corporations who team up in joint initiatives increase the reach and share costs of these activities. Hence, they increase their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) positioning and even improve their bottom lines by reducing crash-related costs, such as insurance premiums, leave of absence costs and other indirect costs. To see the full article, go to:

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New occupant protection publications from NHTSA's National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA)

Source: The Occupant Protection and Distracted Driving Quarterly Update, July 2016

Traffic Safety Fact Sheet: Young Drivers 

For the purposes of this fact sheet, the term young driver refers to a person 15 to 20 years old operating a motor vehicle involved in a crash.  In 2014, there were 1,717 young drivers 15 to 20 years old who died in motor vehicle crashes, an increase of 1% from 1,697 in 2013. Additionally, an estimated 170,000 young drivers were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2014, a decrease of 4% from 177,000 in 2013. To view the document, go to:

Traffic Safety Fact Sheet: Children 

For the purpose of this fact sheet, children are defined as 14 years old and younger.  Of the 32,675 motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States, 1,070 (3%) were children. An estimated 167,000 children were injured in traffic crashes, a 3% decrease from 172,000 in 2013. The view the document go to:

Crash*Stats: Seat Belt Use in 2015 - Use Rates in the States and Territories

The nationwide seat belt use was 88.5% in 2015 as measured by NHTSA's National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS). NOPUS is a national probability-based survey, which is independent from State belt use surveys. NOPUS provides NHTSA's official measure of nationwide seat belt use in the United States and other related information.  In 2015 seat belt use in the United States ranged from 69.5% in New Hampshire to 97.3% in California and Georgia.  Nineteen States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands achieved belt use rates of 90% or higher. To view the document, go to:

2014 Traffic Safety Fact Sheet: Passenger Vehicles

Passenger vehicles are defined as motor vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds and include passenger cars and light trucks (SUVs, pickup trucks, vans, and other light trucks).  There were 21,022 passenger vehicle occupants who lost their lives in traffic crashes and an estimated 2.07 million passenger vehicle occupants who were injured.  There were an estimated 10,579,000 vehicles involved in police-reported traffic crashes; 96% (10,165,000) were passenger vehicles. To view the document, go to:

Traffic Safety Fact Sheet: Large Trucks   

A large truck as defined in this fact sheet is any medium or heavy truck, excluding buses and motor homes, with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds. In 2014, 85% of the large trucks involved in fatal traffic crashes were heavy large trucks (GVWR > 26,000 lbs.).  In 2014 there were 3,903 people killed and an estimated 111,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks. In the United States, an estimated 438,000 large trucks were involved in police-reported traffic crashes during 2014. To view the document, go to:

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Upcoming Transportation/Safety Events

August 17-September 5, 2016
Labor Day Drunk Driving National Enforcement Mobilization
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

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

August 27-31
GHSA Annual Meeting and Conference
Crossroads: The Intersection of Technology and Driver Behavior
Seattle, Washington

NETS is exhibiting! Stop by booth #410 to say hello and see what's new with NETS.

For more information or to register, go to:

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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