Decade of Action for Road Safety

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A monthly publication of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety

June 17, 2016         Summaries of timely road safety news, events, and alerts

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Dane Bremer of Liberty Mutual Named New Chairperson of NETS

Source: NETS press release, June 13, 2016

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) is pleased to announce the election of Dane Bremer, Director – Corporate Safety & Global Business Continuity for Liberty Mutual, as NETS Board Chairperson for 2016 and 2017. Bremer replaces Joe McKillips, Director, Commercial Program Support for Abbott Laboratories, following a successful two-year term. Liberty Mutual has been a NETS board member company since 1996, with Dane as the representative since 2013. In his 27 years with Liberty Mutual, Dane has also held roles in Claims, Managed Care, Information Technology, and Reinsurance. In his current role, he is responsible for implementing Liberty Mutual's Safety and Environmental Health strategy company-wide, generating significant reductions in key injury and prevention metrics in recent years. "I am grateful for Liberty Mutual's long-standing support for NETS and its road safety mission and I am delighted that Dane will continue that tradition as NETS chairperson the next two years. Dane brings energy and experience to NETS and understands the important role employers can play in making our roads safer," said Jack Hanley, NETS' Executive Director. To see the full press release, go to:

AAA reveals top driving distractions for teens as "100 deadliest days" begin

Source: AAA press release, June 1, 2016

Over the past five years, more than 5,000 people have been killed in crashes involving teen drivers during the "100 Deadliest Days," the period starting at Memorial Day when teen crash deaths historically climb. As the summer driving season begins, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is releasing a follow-up study confirming that nearly 60% of teen crashes involve distractions behind the wheel. The research also finds a disturbing trend showing that texting and social media use are on the rise amongst teen drivers. Crashes for teen drivers increase significantly during the summer months because teens drive more during this time of year. Over the past five years during the "100 Deadliest Days," an average of 1,022 people died each year in crashes involving teen drivers. Also, the average number of deaths from crashes involving teen drivers ages 16-19 increased by 16% per day compared to other days of the year. To see the full press release, go to:

Why back-up cameras haven't stopped drivers from backing into stuff

Source: Washington Post, June 16, 2016

Despite the growing prevalence of back-up cameras, federal data shows that this technology hasn't significantly cut down on cars backing into people and causing them harm. That research on so-called "back-over incidents" comes as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration moves to make back-up cameras standard and presses automakers to add a bevy of new technologies -- from automatic braking to lane collision warnings -- to even entry-level cars to reduce accidents on the road. Back-up cameras have been around longer than other car safety tech, so the federal government has years of data on their impact. Between 2008 and 2011 -- the most recent years for which data was made available by NHTSA -- back-up cameras more than doubled from 32% to 68% of all new cars sold. But injuries fell less than 8%, from about 13,000 down to 12,000. The improvement in safety has been very gradual from year to year. To see the full article, go to:

Vehicles crashed into 39% of contractor work zones

Source: Automotive Fleet, May 24, 2016

Almost two of five contractors reported a vehicle crashing into their work zone in the past year, according to a new survey conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America. Of the 39% who reported a crash, 44% said motor vehicle operators or passengers were injured and 12% of those crashes involved a driver or passenger fatality. Highway work zone crashes also pose a significant risk for construction workers, as the survey showed 18% of work zone crashes injure construction workers and 6% of those crashes kill them. Work zone crashes can delay construction schedules and increase costs. In the survey, 25% of contractors reported work zone crashes during the past year that forced them to temporarily shut down construction activity. Those delays were often lengthy, as more than half of those project shutdowns lasted two or more days. To see the full article, go to:

Vehicles are packing more horsepower, and that pushes up travel speeds

Source: IIHS, May 24, 2016

The association between higher speed limits and faster vehicle speeds is well-established, but not as much is known about how horsepower affects travel speeds. A new IIHS study finds that high-horsepower vehicles are more likely to exceed the speed limit, particularly by 10 mph or more, and have higher mean speeds than vehicles with less powerful engines. Faster speeds increase both the risk of crashing and the severity of injuries that occur. IIHS research has shown that rising speed limits have resulted in higher fatality rates. It's not just sports cars that are packing more power. Even mainstream sedans have high-performance capabilities. From model year 1985 to model year 2015, mean vehicle power, defined as horsepower per 100 pounds of vehicle weight, increased by 60% for cars, 65% for pickup trucks and 66% for SUVs, data from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) show. Prior analysis by HLDI indicates that vehicle power is strongly associated with higher insurance losses. To see the full article, go to:

Uber, Lyft drivers safer than average American driver, report says

Source: The Toledo Blade, May 26, 2016

Drivers for ride-hailing services such as Uber, Lyft, and HopSkipDrive are generally safer than the average American driver, according to a new study by automotive analytics firm Zendrive and research firm Aite Group. The research compared data collected anonymously from the smartphones of about 12,000 ride-hailing drivers across the U.S. to millions of data points from trips taken by average American drivers and found that ride-hailing drivers were less likely to speed, drive aggressively or fumble with their phones during a trip. Zendrive uses a smartphone's sensors to detect movement such as speeding, sharp turns and hard braking. The company doesn't work directly with services such as Uber and Lyft, but a number of apps, such as Sherpashare (which is primarily used by ride-hailing drivers for services like Uber and Lyft), HopSkipDrive, eDriving and a variety of navigation apps use Zendrive's technology to monitor ride safety. To see the full article, go to:

Drowsy driving delivers unto us a horde of bees and thousands of potatoes

Source: Huffington Post, may 6, 2016

There were a couple of rude awakenings for sleepy drivers in one week. Under the apparent influence of inadequate rest, a truck driver spilled 50,000 pounds of potatoes on a highway in North Carolina, and another unleashed millions of bees on the Wyoming interstate. The two incidents are just the latest in an epidemic of drowsy driving, which is linked to over 300,000 crashes every year. The potato incident took place around 2:00 a.m. on a Friday. Night-shift workers are among the highest-risk populations for drowsy driving crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Beyond truck drivers, drowsy driving is fairly common among the rest of us as well. As many as 1 in 25 Americans admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel in the prior month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To see the full article, go to:

New data: Motorcyclist deaths surge 10% in 2015

Source: GHSA Press Release, May 19, 2016

Preliminary data provided by state highway safety offices indicates that more than 5,000 people were killed on motorcycles in 2015. This represents an estimated 10% increase compared with 2014 – more than 450 additional deaths. This grim news, presented in the Governors Highway Safety Association's (GHSA) annual forecast of motorcyclist fatalities, comes as warm weather prompts thousands of bikers to hit the road either for the first time, or after taking their motorcycles out of storage following winter. Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State: 2015 Preliminary Data is GHSA's sixth annual motorcyclist fatality Spotlight report. The series provides an early look at current data, trends, and developing issues. GHSA projects the final motorcyclist fatality total for 2015 will be 5,010 – only the third year in U.S. history and the first time since 2008 in which the fatality number topped 5,000. To see the full press release, go to:

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Why drivers should take the afternoon slump seriously

Source: Huffington Post, June 9, 2016

Many cultures recognize the "afternoon slump" as part of human biology. It's the point of the day after lunch when people either take — or really want to take — a siesta. But there may be another reason to pay attention to your body's afternoon fatigue. Driving in the middle of the afternoon is dangerous for one big reason: The period between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. is the most likely time to fall into a "microsleep," according to the British sleep researcher Jim Horne, who has studied driver fatigue for over 10 years. Microsleep is an involuntary period of light sleep lasting up to 10 seconds, from which people usually wake up with a sudden jerk. These episodes are typically caused by extreme fatigue, like from a bout of insomnia the previous night. They are extremely dangerous for drivers because you can travel the length of a football field while dozing for just a few seconds if you're going at 65 mph. To see the full article, go to:

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NETS' Guide to Defensive Driver Training™ and NETS' Recommended Road Safety Practices™ Launched

Source: NETS, June 15, 2016

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) announces the publication of NETS' Guide to Defensive Driver Training™ and NETS' Recommended Road Safety Practices™. The Guide to Defensive Driver Training™ was produced by a committee from NETS' board of directors and general membership, as well as from publicly available sources. NETS' Recommended Road Safety Practices™ was prepared by SWOV, a Netherlands-based road safety NGO. It was funded by Shell Oil Company, a member of NETS' board of directors. Both are available on NETS' website free of charge. NETS' Guide to Defensive Driver Training™ provides guidance on what constitutes an effective and sustainable defensive driver training program, and NETS' Recommended Road Safety Practices™ addresses the key elements required to have a comprehensive fleet safety program. Both complement NETS' Comprehensive Guide to Road Safety™ and give fleet safety leaders what they need to start a fleet safety program or to improve one that is already in place. To download the free resources, go to:

Telematics cut speeding by 97% says UK fleet manager

Source: European Transport Safety Council, May 2, 2016

The introduction of telematics systems in the vehicle fleet of Andrew Page, a distribution company with 900 vehicles, reduced speeding by 97% and crashes by 47% as well as reducing maintenance costs and improving fuel economy. Use of telematics systems is increasing, with industry experts expecting them to be integral in all fleets within five and seven years' time. Resistance from drivers may also be decreasing. A 2015 survey by LeasePlan, one of Europe's biggest vehicle leasing groups, concluded that resistance to telematics is diminishing even among drivers of company cars and commercial vehicles yet to be faced with monitoring. It said 50% would feel comfortable with telematics monitoring. To see the full article, go to:

Risk of occupational accidents in workers with obstructive sleep apnea: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Source: Journal Sleep, June 2016

A new study finds that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the single most important preventable medical cause of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and driving accidents. OSA may also adversely affect work performance through a decrease in productivity, and an increase in the injury rate. Nevertheless, no systematic review and meta-analysis of the relationship between OSA and work accidents had been performed prior. Compared to controls, the odds of a work accident was found to be nearly double in workers with OSA (OR = 2.18; 95% CI = 1.53–3.10). Occupational driving was associated with a higher effect size. The study concludes OSA is an underdiagnosed non-occupational disease that has a strong adverse effect on work accidents. The nearly twofold increased odds of work accidents in subjects with OSA calls for workplace screening in selected safety-sensitive occupations. To view the full abstract, go to:

Engaged workplaces are safer for employees

Source: Gallup Business Journal, May 24, 2016


  • Engaged cultures are safer places to work
  • Strategic action can engage workers and promote safety
  • Leaders need to foster a safe, engaged culture

To see the full article, go to:

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Launch of road safety travel risk map

Source: Global Road Safety Partnership, June 9, 2016

Working in collaboration with GRSP and utilizing data from the WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015, the International SOS Foundation has launched a new Road Safety overlay feature to their Travel Risk Map. The interactive Travel Risk Map has been a widely used resource for business travelers in understanding the risks posed when visiting or relocating to foreign countries in terms of travel security and medical risk. With road crashes one of the top five causes of medical evacuations managed by International SOS, factors such as road laws, fleet and infrastructure conditions and road user behavior need to be understood and managed before navigating new and potentially dangerous road traffic situations. The addition of the Road Safety Risk overlay will serve to educate the mobile workforce to be more aware of the vast differences in road traffic environments from country to country. To see the full article, with a link to access the tool, go to:

Zero stars for all cars in latest Global NCAP crash tests

Source: Global NCAP, May 17, 2016

The latest Indian crash test results from Global NCAP in Delhi continue to disappoint with all five models rated as zero star. The Renault Kwid, Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Maruti Suzuki Eeco, Mahindra Scorpio and Hyundai Eon all showed low levels of adult occupant protection. The Renault Kwid was tested in three versions, including one with airbags, but each was rated as zero star for adult safety. Commenting on the latest crash test results, David Ward, Secretary General of Global NCAP said, "The latest SaferCarsforIndia results show how important it is for cars to have a body shell that can remain stable in a crash. This is an absolutely crucial pre-requisite for occupant safety together with fitment at least of front air bags. It is very surprising that a manufacturer like Renault introduced the Kwid initially lacking this essential feature." Global NCAP strongly believes that no manufacturer anywhere in the world should be developing new models that are so clearly sub-standard. Car makers must ensure that their new models pass the UN's minimum crash test regulations, and support use of an airbag. To see the full article, go to:

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New Federal law for recalled rental cars protects consumers from vehicle safety defects

Source: NHTSA press release, June 1, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that, beginning June 1, 2016, rental car agencies must fix any and all open safety defects before renting out vehicles to customers. U.S Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind have long advocated for safe rental cars free of open recalls, and the new legislation requiring it was recently passed by the Congress in the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015. Federal law now prohibits any company or dealer with fleets greater than 35 vehicles to rent unrepaired recalled vehicles. It also extends NHTSA's recall authority to cover rental car companies for the first time, giving the safety agency power to investigate and punish violators. The legislation was championed by the family of Raechel and Jacqueline Houck, sisters who died in a rental vehicle that was under a safety recall but had not been repaired. To see the full press release, go to:

NHTSA study: Collision avoidance systems can reduce crashes

Source: FleetOwner, June 16, 2016

A one-year field study of collision avoidance systems (CAS) conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that collision avoidance systems (CAS) can reduce if not eliminate crashes, with the majority of fleet managers participating in the study calling for this technology to become standard equipment in the industry. NHTSA's research – entitled Field Study of Heavy-Vehicle Crash Avoidance Systems: Final Report – sampled 6,000 CAS activations from over 3 million miles and 110,000 hours of "naturalistic driving data" in order to evaluate the reliability of those system activations – including all automatic emergency braking (AEB) and all impact alert (IA) events, according to the agency. The result? None of those activations were associated with collisions; especially rear-end collisions due to emergency braking by the tractor-trailer. To see the full article, go to: You can access a PDF of the full report here:

NHTSA crash-test revision could boost backseat safety

Source:, May 26, 2016

While big safety improvements have been made for front-seat occupants in car crashes, there's been less research and regulation for protecting folks in the backseat — frequently children, and increasingly, riders using car-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. That's about to change thanks to proposed revisions in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's crash-test program for its 5-Star Safety Ratings. For the first time, NHTSA would put a crash-test dummy in the backseat during front-impact crash tests. NHTSA plans to have final rules by the end of this year and begin using the new rating system for model-year 2019 vehicles. While some carmakers on their own have offered some of those same protections in the rear — such as seat belt pre-tensioners, side airbags and rear seat belt reminders — and instituted innovations such as inflatable rear seat belts, they are neither widespread nor consistent. A dummy in the back could change that, documenting the dangers and leading to voluntary and regulatory changes. To see the full article, go to:

Now available: Vehicle heatstroke prevention toolkit

Source: NHTSA Traffic Safety Marketing

Did you know that heatstroke is the leading cause of vehicular non-crash-related deaths for children under 14? In fact, an average of 37 children die from vehicle heatstroke each year. While it seems like an impossible mistake to make, every parent or caregiver can potentially become distracted, and distractions often fuel this devastating situation. No one is immune. Yet, this tragedy is 100% preventable. We each have a role to play to help keep our kids safe. Help share life-saving tips and resources. Toolkits are available in English and Spanish, visit:

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Upcoming Transportation/Safety Events

June 28
#DriveSafe4Life Twitter chat
co-hosted by NIOSH and NSC
1-2 PM ET

The chat is part of National Safety Month, the annual June observance focused on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the roads, and in homes and communities. Tweet using the #DriveSafe4Life hashtag to join the conversation, and follow @NIOSH_MVSafety and @NSCsafety for road safety tips during the chat.

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:

Vehicle Theft Prevention Month (NHTSA)

The cost of stolen vehicles pegged at more than $4.1 billion – and July is the month when more cars are stolen than any other month. For materials you can share with employees, go to:

July 4
Drunk Driving Prevention (NHTSA)

According to data from NHTSA, during the July 4th holiday period over the last five years (from 2010 to 2014), 752 people lost their lives in crashes involving drivers with a BAC of .08 or more. These fatalities account for 39% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities over this same five-year period. For materials you can share with employees, go to:

July 18-20
Fleet Safety Conference,
Schaumburg, IL

NETS Executive Director Jack Hanley and NETS Board Chair Dane Bremer of Liberty Mutual will be keynote speakers. For more information and 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:

October 3-7
Drive Safely Work Week- "Drowsy, Distracted or Focused…Your Decisions Drive Your Safety"

Materials available early August.

October 12-13, 2016
NETS' STRENGTH IN NUMBERS Fleet Safety Benchmark Conference
Orlando Marriott World Center

Marking its 10th year and for the first time, NETS' annual STRENGTH IN NUMBERS® Fleet Safety Conference is open to non-NETS members! Join your fleet safety peers at this important event. For more information or to register, go to:

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