Decade of Action for Road Safety

NETS logo


A monthly publication of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety

March 15, 2017         Summaries of timely road safety news, events, and alerts

Click here to view the newsletter in a browser »

Message from NETS' Executive Director, Joe McKillips

Joe McKillips

Have you ever been asked by your senior leadership to explain the value proposition for your road safety program? It's a challenge that most of us in the road safety field have faced at one time or another. This is an area where NETS can be a great resource to you. Not only can you easily find supporting data around topics such as the cost of collisions and recommended road safety practices, you'll also find a number of guides and tools to help you enhance your program, reduce risk and save lives – all central to the NETS mission. To read the full article, go to:


Traffic costs U.S. drivers $1,200 a year

Source: Fox News via Reuters, February 20, 2017

Traffic jams cost U.S. drivers an average of $1,200 a year in wasted fuel and time, and much more in Los Angeles, the city with the world's biggest rush hour traffic delays, according to an annual study by INRIX Inc., released last month. While Thailand was the world's most congested country in 2016, according to the study, the United States had the worst traffic among rich, developed economies. Five of the world's 10 most congested cities are in the United States, INRIX found. U.S. traffic congestion is not a new problem, but it could get renewed attention if President Donald Trump pushes for a large-scale infrastructure investment program as he has promised. After Los Angeles, INRIX listed New York, San Francisco, Atlanta and Miami as the most traffic-choked U.S. cities. To see the full article, go to:

Your car insurance rates are going up because everyone keeps texting and driving

Source:, February 25, 2017

Since 2011, the average insurance premium has jumped 16% to $926. Insurance companies say the sharp spike is partly caused by more drivers distracted on their smartphones and getting into accidents. And it's not just teenage drivers. State Farm says 36% of all drivers text and drive — and it's making everyone's costs go up. "Every American is going to pay more because of the distracted driving epidemic," said Robert Hartwig, co-director of the Center for Risk and Uncertainty Management at the University of South Carolina. "That's because no fault can be attributed in an accident and also because many people who are distracted driving certainly aren't going to admit to it. So what winds up happening is these costs are imposed on the system overall. Everyone is a victim of distracted driving." To see the full article, go to:

As traffic deaths soar, cities pursue lower speed limits to eliminate fatalities

Source: The Washington Post, February 25, 2017

Jurisdictions across the United States are embracing lower speed limits as the key to reversing the recent rise in traffic fatalities. Their efforts include lowering default speed limits and those in major corridors, and creating slow-driving zones in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic. Lowering speeds is a fundamental strategy for communities that are part of "Vision Zero," a program aimed at eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Officials in the jurisdictions say prioritizing safety over speed or convenience is crucial to meeting their goal. According to research, if a vehicle hits a pedestrian while traveling at 20 mph, the victim has a more than 90% chance of surviving. But if the vehicle is traveling 50 mph, the survival likelihood drops to 25%. Vision Zero cities also are redesigning roads built for motor vehicles to make them safer for other users. Long-term success, officials say, requires cities to commit earnestly to the goal, using data to drive changes in policy and emphasizing education and enforcement. To see the full article, go to:

Americans worry about vehicle hacking

Source: Automotive Fleet, February 24, 2017

Most Americans are concerned that self-driving cars might be hacked to cause crashes, disable the vehicle in some way or even be used as weapons by terrorists, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. What's more, many people are at least a little worried that autonomous vehicles could be hacked to gain access to personal data. But most Americans have these same cybersecurity concerns about conventional vehicles, said researchers at the U-M Transportation Research Institute. Using an online survey of more than 500 Americans, the researchers asked respondents how concerned they are about hackers gaining access to personally owned self-driving and conventional vehicles. The researchers found that 76% to 88% of people are at least slightly concerned that self-driving vehicles could be hacked to cause crashes, or to disable many vehicles simultaneously or disable the vehicles' main traffic-management systems. More than 40% reported they are very or extremely concerned. A total of 33% of survey respondents indicated they are extremely concerned that self-driving vehicles could be hacked to cause crashes. To see the full article, go to:

Driver texting still widespread

Source: Automotive Fleet, March 6, 2017

Though most people consider texting while driving a serious safety threat, 31.4% of drivers admit to behind-the-wheel typing or sending texts or emails during the previous month, according to a new survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. About 40% of drivers reported having read a text message or email while driving in the past month, the study also found. A total of 71.5% support restricting driver handheld cell phone use, but just 42% favor an outright ban on using any type of cell phone — including hands-free — while driving. Survey respondents left no doubt how prevalent driver cell phone use is. More than two in three drivers reported talking on their cell phone behind the wheel in the past month, and nearly one in three said they do so fairly often or regularly. The research, however, found strong support (88.4%) for laws restricting reading, typing or sending a text message or email while driving. Each year, AAA's "Traffic Safety Culture Index" report highlights both the behaviors and safety-related opinions of American drivers. And they're sometimes seemingly at odds. To see the full article, go to:

back to top Back to top


What to do when pulled over: A new chapter for driver's ed?

Source: Associated Press, March 6, 2017

Deadly encounters between police officers and motorists have lawmakers across the country thinking driver's education should require students to be taught what to do in a traffic stop. The 2017 "Rules of the Road" for Illinois, published in February, could provide a model, making detailed "suggestions" about proper driver behavior. "When motorists reach under their seats to get a driver's license, officers have to consider whether they're reaching for a gun," said Eddie Caldwell, executive director of the North Carolina Sheriffs Association. The Illinois guidelines, now included in expanded form in driver licensing materials, encourage drivers to avoid this situation by keeping both hands clearly in sight on the steering wheel "until the officer instructs them otherwise." To see the full article, go to: If you have a teen driver, you may be interested in reviewing the guidelines with your teen. To see Illinois' 2017 Rules for the Road Guide (Page 21), go to:

State trooper's PSA about mysterious safety feature goes viral

Source:, February 28, 2017

Have you ever wondered why some drivers can't seem to figure out how a turn signal works? An Indiana State trooper has created a video tutorial for those sometimes frustrating motorists. Sgt. John Perrine, the spokesman for the agency's Indianapolis division, posted a video on his Facebook page that takes the viewer through the intricacies of what he calls an "amazing" feature in vehicles: the turn signal. The 1 minute, 16 second video is captioned, "The often forgotten, incredible safety feature that is standard on all vehicles…" The video has gone viral with more than 14 million views to date. To see Sgt. Perrine's clever PSA, go to:

back to top Back to top


Elite UPS safe driver group grows to more than 9,300

Source: UPS Newsroom, February 20, 2017

UPS has announced the induction of 1,575 drivers into its elite "Circle of Honor," raising to 9,349 the number of drivers who have not had an avoidable accident for 25 years or more. Nearly 10% of the UPS driver workforce has gone 25 years or more without a crash. Collectively, the 9,349 drivers have logged nearly 14 billion miles and more than 266,554 years of safe driving through their careers. That's enough miles to travel to the moon and back nearly 29,000 times – or to circle the earth at the equator 553,000 times. The number of active Circle of Honor drivers is the most in company history and includes 74 new members from Canada, Germany, Puerto Rico and France. That includes French package car driver Patrick David, who is the first inductee from that country. David delivers packages in the suburban town of Chilly-Mazarin, a traffic-laden area south of Paris. "Driving in the area south of Paris is a unique situation because there are so many people," said David. "For me it's quite simple – I drive safely to avoid accidents and to be able to come home and see my family every night." To see the full news release, go to:

Cutting road fatalities through first global online training course, run by EASST, Cranfield University and IRU Academy

Source: The Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST), March 10, 2017

Globally there are 1.25 million deaths each year related to road traffic collisions. With one in three road crashes taking place when people are driving for work purposes, reducing the risk of commercial vehicles and public transport globally could play a significant role in cutting road fatalities and achieving the targets of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. Evidence has shown that businesses that adopt a thorough approach to driver safety can also benefit from reduced insurance, less damage to vehicles and goods, better staff retention and a significant reduction in working time lost through accidents. The Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST) together with UK's Cranfield University and IRU Academy recently launched a unique new educational project. The fully accredited 'Road Safety at Work: Online Course for Managers' is designed to give managers and businesses the skills needed to deliver and sustain a robust road safety management strategy. Lecture 1 of the online course – 'Making the Case For Road Safety Management' – incorporates NETS' Comprehensive Guide to Road Safety'™ as part of the Essential Reading for students; a vital resource for employers of large or small fleets of all vehicle types who are developing or advancing road safety programs. To see the full news release, go to: To see full details of the course offerings, go to:

Prescription drug misuse impacts more than 70% of U.S. workplaces

Source: NSC News Release, March 9, 2017

More than 70% of U.S. employers are feeling the direct impact of prescription drug misuse in their workplaces, according to a survey released by the National Safety Council. The survey, the first of its kind in the nation, also found that although 71% of employers agree that prescription drug misuse is a disease that requires treatment, 65% feel it is a justifiable reason to fire an employee. NSC executives say that employers must understand that the most dangerously misused drug today may be sitting in employees' medicine cabinets, and that even when they are taken as prescribed, prescription drugs and opioids can impair workers and create hazards on the job. Drug poisonings, largely from opioid painkillers, now eclipse car crashes as the leading cause of preventable death among adults. Nearly half of Americans are personally impacted by prescription drug addiction, with 44% knowing someone who is addicted to a prescription pain reliever. Seventy-five percent of those struggling with a substance use disorder are in the workforce, revealing a hidden epidemic that many employers are struggling to address. To see the full news release, go to:

Survey says U.S. adults don't get enough sleep

Source: EHS Today, February 27, 2017

A new report shows a majority of Americans have trouble sleeping at least once a week, which spells trouble for employers when it comes to healthcare costs, accident risk and productivity. The study, initiated by Packaged Facts, discovered troubled sleep is "normal," with 82% of U.S. adults surveyed indicating they have issues getting rest at least once a week. If extrapolated, this is 206 million of the 249 million U.S. adult population. In addition, 39% of adults said they have trouble sleeping five or more times per week. A third of those surveyed have one of four major sleep disorders (insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome or narcolepsy). Harvard Medical researchers estimate more than 274,000 workers are injured each year because of lack of sleep. To see the full article, go to:

back to top Back to top


Car safety systems to beat daylight saving time drowsiness (but sleep is what you really need)

Source: Edmunds, March 7, 2017

There are weather conditions and times of year that we know are more dangerous for driving. Rain and snow can increase stopping distances and decrease visibility. The Christmas and New Year's holidays carry a greater risk of traffic fatalities, according to the National Safety Council. But did you know that a time change — specifically daylight saving time — also poses risks for drivers? It's true that we get longer days with daylight saving time, but that lost hour of sleep translates to more accidents on the road, according to some research into the effects of the time change, including a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. As a driver, you can compensate by getting some more sleep and being more vigilant on the road during the weeks at the start of daylight saving time, which arrives this year on Sunday, March 12, at 2 a.m. New safety technologies can help but remember that regardless of the safety systems your car has, it's a good idea to have a strategy to prevent the time change from getting the better of you. Go to bed earlier until you adjust. To see the full article including descriptions of drowsy driver safety systems, go to:

Arizona uses road sensors to spot ice before it forms

Source: Automotive Fleet, February 15, 2017

Sensors installed at three locations along Interstate 40 in Arizona are helping the Arizona Department of Transportation detect and address icy road conditions before they are present. The roadway sensors are connected to ADOT Road Weather Information System locations that use cameras and instruments to provide up-to-date conditions. Each location has a sensor to measure the salt content of road surface moisture, which affects the freezing point. Another sensor is used to measure the temperature of the ground underneath the road. The information is combined with data from the Road Weather Information System and National Weather Service to forecast the likelihood of ice forming. The program can also alert operators if the pavement temperature drops below a certain threshold. This helps ADOT determine whether to send crews out to spread deicing material. State officials say that the sensors are another tool in ADOT's toolbox to help keep the highways clear of snow and ice during winter season. To see the full article, go to:

back to top Back to top

International Road Safety

Join the global campaign to #SlowDown and save lives

Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week is May 8-14, 2017

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a new web site inviting you to join the global campaign to #SlowDown and save lives: The web site will be the main source of information, messages, and materials related to the Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week to be held May 8-14, 2017 on managing speed. The #SlowDown campaign seeks to increase understanding of the dangers of speed and generate action on measures to address this major risk for road traffic death and injury. National and local governments, international agencies, civil society organizations, foundations, private companies, and the public generally are invited to plan and host events marking the Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week. Visit for more information and watch for campaign materials from NETS coming soon.

New series of road safety positioning papers launched by the GRSP

Source: Global Road Safety Partnership, February 2017

The GRSP is pleased to announce the launch of a new series of Positioning Papers, designed to create an understanding of the scale of road traffic deaths and injuries and their linkages to other humanitarian and development issues. The Positioning Papers seek to highlight that road safety is a multidimensional issue that requires an urgent and sustained contribution across many sectors, and that evidence based road safety interventions can address broader development issues such as children's rights, public health, consumer rights and more. The Positioning Papers further enhance the GRSP's suite of tools to support road safety advocacy campaign planning, including a general advocacy campaign toolkit and media advocacy toolkit, all of which are available on its Advocacy Tools web page. To access the Positioning Papers, go to:

back to top Back to top


New: Young Drivers Traffic Safety Fact Sheet 2015

Source: NHTSA, February 2017

This fact sheet contains information on fatal motor vehicle crashes and fatalities, based on data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) as it relates to Young Drivers. The term young driver refers to a person 15 to 20 years old operating a motor vehicle involved in a crash. People in this age group generally obtain their licenses for the first time and many are under a graduated driver licensing program as they learn driving skills. In the 15- to 20-yearold age group, driver fatalities declined by 46% from 2006 to 2015. In 2015, there were 1,886 young drivers who died and an estimated 195,000 who were injured in motor vehicle crashes. To view the fact sheet, go to:

New: Older Population Traffic Safety Fact Sheet 2015

Source: NHTSA, February 2017

For the purposes of this fact sheet, the term older—in relation to population, drivers, occupants, and non-occupants—refers to people 65 and older. In 2015 there were 6,165 people 65 and older killed in traffic crashes in the United States, 18% of all traffic fatalities. Older drivers made up 18% of all licensed drivers in 2015 compared to 15% in 2006. To view the fact sheet, go to:

New: Summary of Motor Vehicle Crashes Traffic Safety Fact Sheet 2015

Source: NHTSA, February 2017

In 2015 there were an estimated 6,296,000 police-reported traffic crashes, in which 35,092 people were killed and an estimated 2,443,000 people were injured. An average of 96 people died each day in motor vehicle crashes in 2015, one fatality every 15 minutes. Fatality rates per 100,000 population (10.92) and per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT, 1.13) in 2015 have both increased compared to 2014 (10.27 and 1.08, respectively). Access a PDF of the document here:

Spring forward with safety in mind


In the week kicking off daylight saving time, NHTSA reminds everyone to use the VIN Look-Up tool on at least twice a year to see if any of your vehicles are under a recall. Timing the recall check with daylight saving time—every March when setting clocks forward and every November when setting clocks back will help you remember! Access the tool here:

back to top Back to top

Upcoming Transportation/Safety Events

March 17, 2017
Saint Patrick's Day Drunk Driving Prevention

For too many in the United States, St. Patrick's Day has ended in tragedy due to drunk drivers getting behind the wheel. Over St. Patrick's Day from 2011 to 2015, a total of 252 lives were lost in drunk-driving crashes. For new campaign materials from NHTSA's Traffic Safety Marketing to remind employees that law enforcement will be looking for drunk drivers and to encourage planning ahead for a designated driver, go to:

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

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 or to register, go to:

National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

For awareness materials from the National Safety Council, go to:

May 8-14, 2017
Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week
#SlowDown and Save Lives

For more information, go to:

back to top Back to top