Decade of Action for Road Safety

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A monthly publication of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety

December 16, 2016         Summaries of timely road safety news, events, and alerts

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On behalf of the NETS staff and board of directors, we wish you all a happy and safe holiday season!


Missing 1-2 hours of sleep doubles crash risk

Source: AAA Newsroom, December 6, 2016

Drivers who miss between one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period nearly double their risk for a crash, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 35% of U.S. drivers sleep less than the recommended seven hours daily. And with drowsy driving involved in more than one in five fatal crashes on U.S. roadways each year, AAA warns drivers that getting less than seven hours of sleep may have deadly consequences. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's report, Acute Sleep Deprivation and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash Involvement, reveals that drivers missing 2-3 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period more than quadrupled their risk of a crash compared to drivers getting the recommended seven hours of sleep. This is the same crash risk the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration associates with driving over the legal limit for alcohol. To see the full article, including a link to the report, infographics and fact sheet, go to:

NTSB targets vehicle operator behaviors in many of latest safety recommendations

Source: AASHTO Journal, November 18, 2016

The National Transportation Safety Board's latest "most wanted list" of safety measures focuses heavily on improving safety by altering the crash-inducing behaviors of vehicle drivers and other users of the nation's highway, air and rail networks. The board said its top-rated safety challenge is to "eliminate distractions," at a time when state departments of transportation and others have targeted distracted driving as a major cause of highway crashes that result in deaths and injuries. Its next-highest goal is to reduce fatigue-related accidents, which is another behavior issue that threatens safety on highways, in the airspace, on trains and in transit systems. Among other top 10 NTSB goals is to end alcohol and other drug impairment in transportation, increase the implementation of collision-avoidance technologies in various modes to let mechanized systems take safety steps when humans fail to, expand the use of electronic recorders such as truck drivers' logbooks to assure drivers have proper rest periods and require medical fitness of those who operate transportation equipment. To read the full article, go to:

Rise in sleep apnea-related truck accidents forces NTSB to consider mandatory screening for all commercial drivers

Source: Yahoo news, December 5, 2016

On July 8, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) closed its period for public comments regarding a proposal that would make it mandatory for all commercial drivers to be tested for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which has been identified as one of major causes of truck accidents. The NTSB, in consultation with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), is expected to make its recommendation before the end of 2016, which could authorize the U.S. Department of Transportation to propose a new law regarding the treatment of sleep apnea among commercial truck drivers. The troubling aspect of sleep apnea as it relates to truck drivers is that it causes intense fatigue, which is one of the major contributing factors in truck accidents. A joint study by the University of Pennsylvania, FMCSA and the American Transportation Research Institute of the American Trucking Associations, found that 28% of commercial truck drivers have mild-to-severe apnea. To see the full article, go to:

Moak: Sleep apnea's consequences dangerous

Source: Clarion-Ledger, November 27, 2016

Every night, millions of Americans deal with the effects of obstructive sleep apnea. Much to the frustration of their sleep partners, sufferers of this sleep disorder toss and turn, often snoring loudly and jolting themselves awake. The cycle is repeated often hundreds of times each night and leaves the sufferer exhausted and unrested in the morning. According to the National Sleep Apnea Foundation, the disorder affects more than 18 million Americans (and possibly many more), and the vast majority of cases are undiagnosed. But sleep apnea is far from a minor annoyance; its effects can be potentially deadly. Left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression and other problems. And one particular effect can have far-reaching consequences — daytime drowsiness from the lack of restful sleep can lead to falling asleep while driving. To see the full article, go to:

Warning systems neither curb driver distraction nor worsen it

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Status Report, November 17, 2016

Picture a driver distracted by a passenger's joke or the ping of an incoming text. Oblivious to an obstacle ahead of him, he is pulled back to reality by an alert from his car's collision warning system. After a few such incidents, would this driver be chastened into paying closer attention to the road? Or would he figure that he could chat or text even more since his trusty car is watching the road for him? Neither, it turns out. A recent IIHS study based on observations of volunteers driving a Honda Accord with a combined forward collision, lane departure, blind spot and curve speed warning system found that receiving warnings neither discouraged nor encouraged distracting behaviors. That finding held for both teenagers and adults. To see the full article including the study details and findings go to:

Drivers say alcohol is bigger threat than pot

Source: IIHS Status Report, December 8, 2016

Marijuana legalization won at state ballot boxes in November amid broader public acceptance of a controlled substance that is still illegal under U.S. law. Although drivers don't consider marijuana to be quite as risky as alcohol when it comes to impaired driving, those who live in states that allow recreational use are more likely to view it as a highway safety problem than drivers in states without legalized use, a new Institute survey indicates. People overwhelmingly believe driving after drinking alcohol is a risk factor in crashes, but their views on getting behind the wheel after using pot aren't as clear. To see if opinions and behaviors related to driving after using marijuana and alcohol vary among states, IIHS scientists reached out to drivers 18 and older in Colorado, Oregon and Washington, which allow recreational use, and drivers in comparison states without legalized recreational marijuana use. To see the full article detailing the results, go to:

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Focus on Safety - Winter Driving Tips

Source: NHTSA Traffic Safety Marketing

When the chilly temperatures of winter set in, will your vehicle be ready for the cold? If you live in a part of the country that experiences inclement weather, such as heavy rain, snow and ice, are you prepared to drive in those conditions? Planning and preventative maintenance are important year-round ... but especially when it comes to winter driving. For interactive winter-driving tips from NHTSA's Traffic Safety Marketing, go to:

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Road safety expert Will Murray passes away unexpectedly

Source: Fleet News (UK), December 6, 2016

Tributes have been paid to road safety expert Will Murray, who died suddenly from an undiagnosed illness earlier this month. Throughout his career as an international occupational road safety expert, Murray, who was research director for eDriving Fleet, had seen more than a million drivers benefit from the results of his work. "Throughout his accomplished career as an international occupational road safety expert, Will was motivated by a relentless passion for helping clients measure and maximise the impact of their safety programmes," said Andy Cuerden, managing director of eDriving Fleet. To view the full article, go to:

The NETS staff and board of directors would also like to express its condolences to Will's family, work family and the road safety community. We are grateful to have known Will, some personally as well as professionally, and know that his body of work will live on to make a positive impact on occupational road safety for years to come.

Corporate leadership needed to bolster road-safety management

Source: Consultancy.UK, December 13, 2016

Companies have increased safety risk management efforts over the last few decades and significantly reduced harm to staff, contractors, customers and members of the public. However, most companies continue to limit safety risk management to on-site activities. Management of off-site safety risks for owned operations across the supply chain is typically weak; indeed, many companies do not systematically record or report off-site incidents. Specifically, with respect to road safety, only a few leading global companies consider the issue a priority, despite 36% of all occupation-related deaths occurring on the road, outside of plant gates. Even fewer truly understand the safety risk profile across their supply chains. While legal obligations for managing safety vary globally and, in many cases, fall to the supply-chain players themselves, ever-increasing scrutiny exposes corporate reputation. To see the full article, including charts and graphics, go to:

Why fleet drivers need to buckle up

Source: Automotive Fleet, November 20, 2016

Fleet managers often struggle to reach and maintain a high seat belt use rate among employees. And research suggests that the task of convincing all fleet drivers to buckle up is a taller order for some fleet managers than others, depending on the employer location and industry. Studies show that drivers in jurisdictions lacking strong seat belt enforcement laws are much more likely to fail to buckle up. What's more, a study released this past summer indicates that drivers working in some occupational groups — construction and extraction, for example — are at a greater risk for eschewing seat belts. U.S. employers are collectively spending an extra $5 billion annually on traffic crashes involving employees who weren't wearing a seat belt while driving or riding in a vehicle — either on the job or off, according to a 2016 study released by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS). To help employers improve seat belt usage among employees, NETS and NHTSA partnered to develop a free online toolkit called 2seconds2click. To see the full article, including links to CDC study, NETS study and the 2seconds2click seat belt usage toolkit, go to:

Employees using company vehicles to moonlight as Uber drivers (and more)

Source: Automotive Fleet Market Trends, November 20, 2016

Personal use of company-provided vehicles is a long-accepted practice at most companies. But, lately, a growing number of employees have been caught using their company vehicles as a tool to generate supplemental personal income for themselves. Anecdotally, there appears to be a recent uptick in this activity as the editor of Automotive Fleet, Mike Antich, is increasingly hearing from fleet managers about employees who are using company vehicles to moonlight for a second job. The fastest-growing trend in unauthorized usage of company vehicles is working as an Uber or Lyft driver. But using company vehicles to moonlight goes far beyond Uber and Lyft. These incidents should raise all kinds of red flags in the minds of fleet managers, such as the heightened risk of vicarious liability or negligent entrustment exposure, not to mention the negative impact on brand image, along with unnecessary wear and tear to a vehicle and reduced resale value due to higher mileage. To read more, see the full article here:

Seatbelt use reaches all-time high. Are your employees part of the solution?

Source:, December 2, 2016

The more employees know about the risks of not buckling up, the better the chance that they will comply. According to the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), employers spend an extra $5 billion per year on traffic incidents involving employees who were not wearing their seat belts, whether they took place on or off the job. The same report found that medical costs paid per employee injured in a crash were nearly double in on-the-job incidents where the employee was not wearing a seat belt. NETS has developed a free online toolkit called 2seconds2click. It includes a communication plan for a six-week seat belt usage campaign. The kit offers a kick-off presentation, handouts, activities, and help conducting observation surveys at the start and end of the campaign. Learn more at To see the full article, go to:

New NIOSH Infographic: Keep workers safe on the road

Source: NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety, December 8, 2016

The NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety recently released an infographic that answers the question, why does workplace motor vehicle safety matter? Content covers the human and economic impact of work-related crashes, making it a useful resource for HR or safety professionals to make a business case for a motor vehicle safety program in the workplace. The infographic may be downloaded here: To view the full quarterly issue of Behind the Wheel at Work, go to:

2017 Fleet Safety Conference seeks presenters

Source: Automotive Fleet, November 28, 2016

The Fleet Safety Conference (sponsored by Automotive Fleet/Bobit Media) planning committee is looking for presenters to fill out the 2017 conference schedule. Potential speakers should submit their ideas by Jan. 6. They should submit the title of the suggested presentation; a three-sentence summary of an unbiased session idea; the presenter(s) name, title and organization; and the presenter(s) contact information. The conference is scheduled for July 24 to 27 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel in Schaumburg, Ill. To see the full article, go to:

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International Road Safety

ITF Zero Road Deaths study wins Prince Michael International Road Safety Award

Source:, December 14, 2016

A new report, Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries: Leading a Paradigm Shift in Road Safety, setting out a new approach to road safety has won the 2017 Special Award of the prestigious Prince Michael of Kent International Road Safety Awards. The study by a group of 30 international road safety experts from 24 countries, led by the International Transport Forum at the OECD, reviews the experiences of countries that have made it their long-term objective to eliminate fatal road crashes. Originating in Sweden, the report indicates that 88 European cities with a population above 100,000 have had no road fatalities over the course of a whole year. The biggest among them are Nottingham in the UK, Aachen, Germany and Espoo, Finland. The report offers guidance for leaders that want to drastically reduce the road deaths in their communities and sets out how a 'safe system' approach to road safety can underpin this goal. To see the full article, go to:

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Seat belt use in U.S. reaches historic 90%

Source: U.S. DOT Press Release, November 21, 2016

Seat belt use in the United States has reached its highest level since the Federal government began regular national surveys in 1994, according to a study released by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The new data – drawn from a large-scale observational study conducted by NHTSA in June 2016, shows daytime belt use (drivers and right-front passengers of passenger vehicles from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.) reached 90.1%, a statistically significant increase from 88.5% in 2015. The study, known as the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS), is the only survey that provides nationwide probability-based observed data on seat belt use in the United States. The NOPUS also provides data on other types of restraints, such as child restraints and motorcycle helmets, and driver electronic device use. Seat belts saved nearly 14,000 lives during 2015 alone and an estimated 345,000 lives since 1975. Even with a higher belt use, nearly half (48%) of people killed in crashes in 2015 were not wearing their seat belt. When used properly, lap/shoulder belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45%, and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50%. To see the full press release, go to:

U.S. DOT advances deployment of connected vehicle technology to prevent hundreds of thousands of crashes

Sources: U.S. DOT Press Release, December 13, 2016

Citing an enormous potential to reduce crashes on U.S. roadways, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a proposed rule that would advance the deployment of connected vehicle technologies throughout the U.S. light vehicle fleet. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would enable vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology on all new light-duty vehicles, enabling a multitude of new crash-avoidance applications that, once fully deployed, could prevent hundreds of thousands of crashes every year by helping vehicles "talk" to each other. Separately, the Department's Federal Highway Administration plans to soon issue guidance for Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communications, which will help transportation planners integrate the technologies to allow vehicles to "talk" to roadway infrastructure such as traffic lights, stop signs and work zones to improve mobility, reduce congestion and improve safety. NHTSA estimates that safety applications enabled by V2V and V2I could eliminate or mitigate the severity of up to 80% of non-impaired crashes, including crashes at intersections or while changing lanes. To see the full press release, go to:

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Upcoming Transportation/Safety Events

December 2016
Holiday Season Drunk Driving Prevention

The holidays are known for being merry and bright, but they're also known for being the deadliest season when it comes to drunk driving. Every holiday season, lives are lost due to drunk drivers. For campaign materials and graphics from NHTSA's Traffic Safety Marketing that can be shared with employees, go to:

January 8-12, 2017
The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies (TRB) 96th Annual Meeting
Washington, D.C

For information, go to:

February 5, 2017
Super Bowl LI

NHTSA's Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk campaign encourages people to make plans ahead of time that will prevent them from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. NHTSA's Traffic Safety Marketing has awareness resources that can be shared with employees available here:

March 20-23, 2017
10th International Conference on Managing Fatigue in Transportation,
San Diego, CA

Early registration ends December 19, 2016

Co-sponsored by TRB, the website has been updated with information on keynotes, workshops, sponsors and events. For more information or to register, visit the conference website at: or contact Pam Stiff at

March 26-28 2017
Lifesavers Conference
Charlotte Convention Center

For more information go to:

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