Decade of Action for Road Safety

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A monthly publication of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety

May 18, 2016         Summaries of timely road safety news, events, and alerts

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Road safety and employers: A winning combination

Source:, guest blog post by Jack Hanley, NETS – May 16, 2016

The preceding 40 years have seen significant advances in U.S. road safety. Many factors have made this possible, including: roadway and vehicle design; graduated driver licensing laws; the passing and enforcement of drink-and-drive laws; seat belts and air bags; anti-lock braking systems (ABS); electronic stability control; the introduction of in-vehicle monitoring systems; and, recently, advanced collision avoidance technologies. What is missing from this listing of life-saving safety improvements is the role employers can play in furthering national road safety. Consider, for example, that nearly half of the U.S. non-farm population is employed and that employees account for over 60% of traffic-related fatalities. In addition, the cost of crashes to employers in 2013 exceeded $47 billion according to a recent study by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) (Cost of Motor Vehicle Crashes to Employers—2015™). It is clear that attention to road safety by employers will lower their costs and make roads safer for all road users. To see the full blog post, go to:

Fatal road crashes involving marijuana double after state legalizes drug

Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Press Release, May 9, 2016

Fatal crashes involving drivers who recently used marijuana doubled in Washington after the state legalized the drug, according to the latest research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. New research also shows that legal limits for marijuana and driving are arbitrary and unsupported by science, which could result in unsafe motorists going free and others being wrongfully convicted for impaired driving. Washington was one of the first two states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, and these findings raise serious concerns about drug-impaired driving with at least 20 states considering marijuana legalization this year. The Foundation examined drug tests and fatal crashes among drivers in Washington, a state that legalized marijuana in December 2012. To see the full article, go to:

The 'Textalyzer' could help curb distracted driving in New York

Source: Time, April 26, 2016

New York lawmakers have proposed implementing a new test to curb mobile phone usage behind the wheel: the Textalyzer. Much like its nominal inspiration, the Breathalyzer, the Textalyzer would allow law enforcement to ask for phones from drivers involved in accidents and then determine whether those phones had been illicitly used while the drivers operated their vehicles. The bill that could usher in this policy is currently in the early committee stage in the New York State Senate, the New York Times reports. Any drivers who refused to hand over their phones to an officer after a crash could have their license suspended, similar to the terms of the Breathalyzer test. The Textalyzer would not have access to a phone's content, but only whether it had been used recently. To see the full article (includes video), go to:

NHTSA tests just-in-time recalls

Source: Tire Business, May 9, 2016

The 35 million-plus Takata Corp. airbag inflators added recently to the vehicle recall rolls haven't been linked to any injuries or deaths. They haven't ruptured in the field or failed in lab tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said they do not present an "unreasonable risk to safety." But eventually, according to NHTSA, they will. And that's why the agency took the unusual, if not unprecedented, step of ordering a phased recall that stretches over the next three and a half years. Under this approach, manufacturers of the covered vehicles will issue recall notices in five waves, with each wave hitting just before the inflators become prone to developing the same dangerous defect that has been linked to 10 deaths and more than 100 injuries in the U.S. Consider it a just-in-time recall. The approach is made possible by NHTSA's unique application of its legal powers to wrestle the industry's most pervasive and challenging recall into submission. To see the full article, go to:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shaming texting drivers on twitter

Source: Breitbart, April 25, 2016

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is publicly shaming drivers on its Twitter feed who have admitted to texting while driving. The agency, which has a Twitter following of 38,400 users and is responsible for ensuring the safety of all drivers on public highways, has been scolding people who have admitted to texting and driving and giving them some stern advice. To see the full article for examples of how NHTSA is responding to drivers boasting about distracted driving on Twitter, go to:

Culture, crowding and social influence all tied to aggressive driving behavior

Source: Science Daily, April 27, 2016

A study of angry, competitive, and aggressive driving suggests that these dangerous behaviors are becoming a worldwide phenomenon of almost epidemic proportions, and are a reflection of a person's surrounding culture, both on the road and on a broader social level. The research was done with drivers in China where competitive driving is very common. It concluded that such behavior is more pronounced in men than in women, and is partly a reaction to overcrowded road networks. The study also implies that different social conditions might ultimately translate into better drivers. At its worst, aggressive driving can be seen as "road rage" leading to serious or fatal accidents. In lesser forms it is viewed as "competitive" behavior that includes speeding, crowding or lane-hopping that drivers often use to gain a few minutes in an urban rush hour. In all its variations, this behavior is a problem that appears to be increasing. The American Automobile Association estimated that 56% of crashes involve aggressive driving. To see the full article, go to:

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NETS' free electronic parent-teen driving guide now on YouTube!

Source: NETS press release, May 11, 2016

The Electronic Novice Driver's Road Map (eNDRM™), developed by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) in partnership with Liberty Mutual, has assisted thousands of novice drivers in learning to drive. To make the eNDRM easier to use, and with support from the Coca-Cola Company, NETS has created two short videos. The first introduces the eNDRM and the second provides easy-to-follow instructions on its use. Both videos are available on YouTube. It's suggested both be viewed before using the eNDRM. The eNDRM is a free download available via the NETS website. It is a curriculum for parents or adult coaches to guide teens in the practice needed to become safe, focused drivers—as well as licensed in nearly all states. View the videos on YouTube via the following links: and To see the full press release, go to:

7 myths about motorcycle safety that need to go away

Source: Huffington Post, May 2, 2016

As the last of the winter snow melts, motorcyclists across the country, both experienced and new, are getting ready to dust off their rides and make the most of the springtime weather. Some take advantage of this time to cross off iconic roads from their bucket lists, while others, eager to get more riding experience under their belts, plan their first long-distance road trips. The sudden influx of motorcyclists on roads and highways often catches drivers by surprise, putting motorcycle safety in the spotlight for all motorists. And some of the conventional wisdom is just plain wrong. In the spirit of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, The Huffington Post partnered with Allstate® to bust the most stubborn myths regarding motorcycle safety and to offer advice to drivers and alike. To see the full article, go to:

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Lack of seat belt use costs U.S. employers $5 billion; drives up medical bills

Source: NETS Press Release, April 18, 2016

U.S. employers are collectively spending an extra $5 billion per year on traffic crashes involving employees who did not wear a seat belt while driving or riding as a passenger, whether they were on the job or off. This is according to a report released by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS). The same report finds that medical costs paid by employers per employee injured in a crash were nearly double in on-the-job crashes where the employee was not wearing a seat belt and increased by a third for off-the-job crashes. To help employers improve seat belt usage among employees and, in turn, reduce the human and financial toll of traffic crashes on the workplace, NETS has developed a free online toolkit called 2seconds2click. The 2seconds2click toolkit was developed in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and requires minimal resources—in terms of time or dollars—to implement. The toolkit materials were piloted by Coca-Cola Refreshments at its Bismarck, ND site, where observed seat belt usage increased from a baseline 54% to 84% over a 6-week period. Coca-Cola Refreshments is a unit of The Coca-Cola Company, a NETS board member. To view the toolkit, go to To see the full press release, go to:

How to combat driver complacency caused by lower fuel prices

Source: Automotive Fleet, April 25, 2016

The prolonged drop in fuel prices shows no signs of abating in the foreseeable future, which is positive since lower prices are making a dent in overall fleet fuel expenditures. However, there is the risk that prolonged lower prices will result in driver complacency to being energy conscious with less focus on fuel-efficient driving. This is important because a large part of the overall fleet fuel spend is influenced by drivers, especially by their driving behaviors. Many of the hard-won increases in fleet mpg can be negated by drivers reverting to less fuel-efficient driving behaviors due to complacency from low fuel prices. One way to keep fuel efficiency a top priority, even in the wake of driver complacency, is to tie it into existing safety and sustainability initiatives. Driver safety and the reduction of fuel consumption are complementary goals. There are many similarities between fuel-efficient driving techniques and safe driving techniques. In fact, there's a direct correlation between safe driving and fuel efficiency. It's been proven: the safer the driver, the higher the miles per gallon, and less fuel consumed. To see the full article, go to:

Fleet buyers targeting price ahead of safety and economy

Source: The Motor Report (Aus), April 18, 2016

Australia's vehicle fleet managers appear to be under the thumb of company bean counters when it comes to making purchasing decisions, with price considered ahead of safety and environmental factors. Those are the findings of a new survey, which asked fleet managers questions relating to safety, price and a vehicle's 'green' credentials relating to purchase decisions. Fleetcare conducted the survey, which found that while organizations would like to be greener and safer on the nation's roads, vehicle prices often overruled these ambitions. While 93% of managers surveyed believed their company upheld policies relating to workplace safety, only 37% said staff were restricted to using vehicles with a 4- or 5-star ANCAP safety rating (5 being the maximum safety rating offered by ANCAP). To see the full article, go to:

Jury awards $22.7M for fatal fleet crash

Source:, May 9, 2016

A wrongful death lawsuit filed in Cook County, Ill., against a Missouri-based food refrigeration systems company and a former company fleet driver has resulted in a $22.7 million jury award. The case revolved around a May 2012 fatal crash on Interstate 294, the southern part of the Tri-State Tollway in Illinois. Aaron Swenson, a 31-year-old private investigator, was stopped in morning traffic in a construction zone when a fleet van driven by Hussmann Corp. employee Adam Troy rear-ended Swenson's car and rammed it into a truck stopped ahead. Aaron Swenson suffered fatal injuries in the crash. His wife of nearly four years, Theresa (Tracy) Swenson, later filed a lawsuit alleging negligence against both Hussmann Corp. and Troy. A criminal case against Troy is still pending. To see the full article, go to:

2016 ETSC PRAISE Awards to recognize fleets for road safety achievements

Source: Fleetworld, May 5, 2016

UK fleets – both large and small – that have taken outstanding measures to improve road safety at work are being invited to enter the 2016 PRAISE Awards being held by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC). Previous winners include Transport for London and British Telecom, which have demonstrated that prioritizing road safety can help the bottom line, improve working conditions for staff, and boost customer satisfaction. The awards are open to organizations with a road safety program, and the results to prove it. The competition is divided into three separate categories: SME, large company and public authority. To see the full article, go to:

UPS driver saves teen from collapsed truck

Source: Hard Working Trucks, April 26, 2016

So many of these stories end in tragedy, but not this one—thanks to the quick thinking of a UPS driver. Seventeen-year-old Cameron King had been working under his pickup in a San Diego suburb recently when it slipped off the jack and landed on his head, pinning him to the road. In an interview with a loca news affiliate, UPS driver Brian Philips explained that he got under the truck so that he could reposition the jack and lift the pickup off King. King's mother, Kimberly King, was able to locate Philips later and get him to drive by their house so that she and her son could thank him. The meeting, along with eye-witness interviews, was recorded by Fox 5. To see the full article along with the video, go to:

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NHTSA updates information and advice on seat belt use by pregnant women

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

NHTSA recently updated its online information regarding seat belt use by expectant mothers, who are sometimes unsure about whether and how to use seat belts. The online flyer, entitled If You're Pregnant: Seat Belt Recommendations for Drivers and Passengers, includes updated information and guidance for pregnant women to properly use seat belts to protect themselves and their unborn babies in the event of a crash or sudden braking. To view the document, go to:

African American seat belt toolkit updated

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

NHTSA has updated its web-based toolkit designed to educate African-Americans about the importance of seat belt use in reducing the injury disparity between African-Americans and other American motorists. According to the most recent data from the Web-based Injury Statistic Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for African-Americans of all ages and the leading cause of death for African-American children ages 1 to 14. The toolkit serves as an educational outreach resource for state and community organizations that is both user-friendly and population-specific. The toolkit includes a "Seat Belt IQ" quiz, a PowerPoint presentation, infographics, and e-mail blasts, and is available at:

NHTSA releases updated Motor Vehicle Occupant Protection Facts (Children/Youth/Young Adults)

Updated from the most recent edition (2008), the booklet features occupant protection data and facts about children (newborns to age 7), youth (8 to 15 years old), and young adults 16 to 20. It has three sections: general information on the need for and importance of promoting occupant restraint use for children, youth, and young adults; occupant protection facts specific to children and youth, and facts for and about young adults; and findings from NHTSA's Motor Vehicle Occupant Safety Surveys on self-reported behavior, attitudes, and opinions about seat belt use and laws. To review the publication, visit

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Upcoming Transportation/Safety Events

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May - and during the rest of the year - drivers of all other vehicles and all road users are reminded to safely "share the road" with motorcyclists, and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe. To access "Share the Road" campaign materials, go to:

May 16-June 6, 2016
National Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization

Passenger vehicle occupants are buckling up more during the day, but not enough at night. This mobilization is created to crackdown on violators 24-7, but a strong enforcement effort is urged between the nighttime hours of 6pm and 5:59am due to the significant number of violators and fatal crashes during this time. To access Click It or Ticket campaign materials, go to:

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:

July 18-20
Fleet Safety Conference,
Schaumburg, IL

NETS Executive Director Jack Hanley and NETS Board Chair Dane Bremer of Liberty Mutual will be featured 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:

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. View a flyer on the conference here:

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