Decade of Action for Road Safety

NETS logo


A monthly publication of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety

October 21, 2016         Summaries of timely road safety news, events, and alerts

Click here to view the newsletter in a browser »


NETS' 2016 STRENGTH in NUMBERS® conference concludes with record attendance

Source: NETS, October 20, 2016

More than 170 fleet safety professionals came together October 12-13 for the NETS' STRENGTH in NUMBERS® Benchmark Conference held this year in Orlando, Florida. The conference convenes each year to review the results of NETS' annual STRENGTH in NUMBERS® Fleet Safety Benchmark Report, as well as to hear about featured road safety case studies, new research, emerging issues, and projects that are underway. The group has grown every year since the inaugural conference took place in 2007 with record-setting attendance during this year's event. Member companies come from diverse industries including pharmaceutical, oil and gas, food and beverage, insurance, utilities, manufacturing and more and represent a collective global fleet of more than half-a-million vehicles (approximately 80% passenger vehicles) that travel nearly 11 billion miles annually. This year's conference was also opened to non-member companies with fleet vehicles for the first time. To see the full article, including a link to the full conference agenda, go to:

Highway deaths jump; blame texting and better economic times

Source: Detroit Free Press, October 5, 2016

The number of traffic deaths jumped by 10.4% to 17,775 in the first six months of this year, according to a preliminary estimate by the government's highway safety agency, and at least one of the culprits is likely the rising instance of texting while driving. The second quarter of 2016 was the seventh consecutive quarter that fatalities rose compared to the same quarter the previous year, according to NHTSA. Specific causes were not cited by NHTSA, other than a 3.3% increase in number of miles driven, but data compiled by the National Safety Council shows texting while driving is a factor. U.S. residents are driving more miles because of an improved economy and relatively low gas prices. But the 3.3% increase in miles driven, according to the Federal Highway Administration, is smaller than the corresponding increase in traffic deaths. Failure to buckle up remains a large problem. Half of all those who died nationally were unbelted, NSC research shows. To see the full article, go to:

As teen-involved crash deaths spike 10%, new report spotlights older teen driver behavior

Source: GHSA press release, October 12, 2016

A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) shows that while much progress has been made in reducing teen driver-involved traffic crashes and deaths over the past decade, teen drivers are still 1.6 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than their adult counterparts, and teen-involved crash deaths spiked 10% in 2015. The report, funded by a grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund, also sheds light on data that show the improvement in fatal crash rates among 18- to 20-year-old drivers was considerably less than for their 15- to 17-year-old counterparts, and that older teen drivers are involved in more fatal crashes than younger teens. GHSA's report calls for an expansion of GDL to include all drivers younger than 21 years of age, and provides 11 recommendations (policies and best practices) for states to implement. Suggestions address opportunities for increased training of older teen drivers, high visibility enforcement, continued parental involvement, and safe driving programs at colleges. To see the full press release with a link to the report, go to:

New FICO credit score decides if you are a good driver

Source: Forbes, October 14, 2016

FICO is famous for credit scores. The three-digit number can determine whether or not you are approved for a mortgage, credit card or personal loan. If you are approved, your score can also determine your interest rate. An excellent credit score can make your life cheaper and easier. Historically, many auto insurance companies have also used the FICO credit score when determining auto insurance premiums. Last year, a study showed that having bad credit was worse than a DUI for raising auto insurance rates. But now FICO is getting into the business of building a predictive driving score. FICO has partnered with eDriving to create a driving score that will assess your level of risk as a driver. To see the full article, go to:

Older adults no slower than young adults at taking control of semi-autonomous vehicles

Source: Newswise, September 29, 2016

New research from North Carolina State University finds that older adults have comparable response times to young adults when tasked with taking control of a semi-autonomous vehicle. Before we see fully autonomous cars enter the marketplace, we are likely to see semi-autonomous vehicles on the road—and researchers say we're seeing hints of this already. These cars will handle the driving most of the time, but will require drivers to take control of the vehicle under certain circumstances—such as when the weather affects visibility. Researchers wanted to know whether and how a driver's age affects his or her ability to take control of the vehicle, and what sort of notification from the computer is most effective at getting drivers to take control in a safe and timely way. The researchers also found that older drivers responded to the warnings as quickly as younger drivers. To see the full article, go to:

Drugged driving overtakes alcohol in Tennessee road deaths

Source: The Tennessean, September 28, 2016

Drugged driving has overtaken drunken and distracted driving as a factor in Tennessee traffic fatalities. The number of deaths from crashes with drug-impaired drivers shot up by 89% from 2010 to 2015, according to an analysis of Tennessee Highway Patrol data. Experts attribute the increase to a rising prevalence of drug abuse, especially of prescription medication, and law enforcement officers who can more readily detect drug-impaired drivers. In 2015, 174 people died in crashes in which a driver either tested positive for drugs or an officer determined drugs contributed to the crash. For alcohol, the tally reached 136 deaths, while distracted driving was associated with 51 killed. In Tennessee, more officers are being trained to identify drug-impaired drivers. Since 2012, the number of annual training classes for the Drug Recognition Expert Program has doubled, said Richard Holt, law enforcement administrator and state DRE coordinator for the Tennessee Highway Safety Office. From 2014 to 2015, the number of arrests in Tennessee for driving under the influence of drugs increased by 26%, while the number of alcohol arrests decreased slightly, according to an analysis of Tennessee Bureau of Investigation data. To see the full article, go to:

back to top Back to top


The risks of eating and driving

Source: Automotive Fleet, October 2016

Distracted driving covers a broad range of risky behaviors that ultimately diverts a driver's attention from what he or she should be focusing on: driving. One under-identified distraction is eating or drinking while driving. While a ubiquitous and innocuous act, those who eat or drink while operating a vehicle are putting themselves and other drivers on the road at risk. Driving while eating or drinking, relative to driving without distraction, increases crash risk about 70%, according to Jessica Cicchino, vice president of research for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The behavior also ranks just below holding a cellphone or talking on a hand-held cellphone when it comes to prevalence of behaviors that distract drivers, according to the IIHS. Drivers between the ages of 40 and 50 were observed to be eating or drinking more than other age groups that were monitored in the IIHS study, followed by young adults ages 20 to 30, then teenagers ages 16 to 17, and, lastly, older drivers ages 60 to 70. To see the full article, go to:

back to top Back to top


Employers have important role in reducing traffic fatalities and injuries

Source: NETS press release, October 3, 2016

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) kicked off its 2016 Drive Safely Work Week™ campaign (Oct. 3-7), celebrating the 20th anniversary of the annual safe-driving initiative targeted to employers. More than 2500 organizations representing approximately 13 million employees were set to take part in the week that promotes safe-driving education and awareness to all employees—company drivers and commuters alike. The campaign comes on the heels of the announcement by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that traffic fatalities in 2015 increased 7.2% over the previous year, the greatest percentage increase in 50 years. "Employers have the opportunity to play an important role in reversing the recent increase in traffic fatalities," said Joseph McKillips, Executive Director of NETS. "Driving is likely the riskiest thing any employee does on a daily basis. Taking the time to remind all drivers that they are the most important safety feature in their vehicle is good for the health and safety of employees, it's good business sense and it's the right thing to do. The Drive Safely Work Week campaign gives employers off all sizes the opportunity to do just that." Campaign materials are not dated and may be used anytime throughout the year. Download the free campaign toolkit here: To see the full press release, go to:

FIA Foundation delivers keynote at the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety Annual Conference

Source: FIA Foundation blog, October 14, 2016

On October 12-13, nearly 200 members of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety, including major Fortune 500 companies, held their annual Benchmarking Conference in Orlando, Florida. US Manager Natalie Draisin delivered a keynote address, providing an update on the Decade of Action for Road Safety, and highlighting next steps towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In a separate keynote address, Dr. Bella Dinh-Zarr, Vice Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, praised NETS on its leadership and boldness in spearheading many safety efforts. "We can't overstate the influence of employers, not only on your employees, but on the entire community," she said. To see the full article, go to:

Business auto safety: Are non-owned cars your blind spot?

Source: Risk Conversation, September 2016

A partner at a consulting firm picked up his rental car in the middle of a downpour. His preferred model wasn't available, so he quickly settled on an unfamiliar car. Driving to visit a client, he accidentally accelerated too quickly, striking another car and seriously injuring two passengers. The company's liability topped $1 million. When it comes to auto fleets, small businesses often create a formal fleet safety program for the cars the company owns. However, they don't always extend these fleet policies and programs to the vehicles they don't own, also known as their "incidental" fleet. Incidental fleets include traditional rentals, car sharing and ride sharing. They also include vehicles used for company business but owned by employees, members, or partners. If you're responsible for your organization's auto safety, creating and implementing a formal policy can keep your employees safer and limit your liability risks. See the full article for some of the considerations when developing employer policies related to incidental drivers:

Grey fleet drivers pose higher safety risk than traditional fleet drivers

Source: Fleet World (UK), October 11, 2016

Drivers using private cars for work travel are more likely than company car drivers to break driving laws. That's the finding of new research by Lex Autolease that also highlights employers' lack of awareness of their legal responsibilities for 'grey fleet' (incidental fleet) drivers. The annual independent study found that grey fleet drivers are more likely to engage in illegal behaviors while driving, including using a hand-held mobile phone or reading a map. The research, of more than 1,000 drivers, also found that grey fleet drivers are more likely to drive without correct insurance or a valid MoT, or whilst knowing that the vehicle needs some attention. And according to the results, 20% of grey fleet drivers have driven while using a hand-held mobile and almost 5% have, at some stage, driven under the influence of recreational drugs. Paul Coley, principal consultant at Lex Autolease, said: "Aside from the clear road safety risk that this type of behavior poses, many UK bosses are unaware that they are ultimately liable for these drivers when they're out on the road for work purposes." To see the full article, go to:

back to top Back to top


Study shows knowledge gap with in-car technology

Source: ABC News, October 10, 2016

Hyundai and BMW customers are the most satisfied with their in-vehicle technology, but those brands and others still need to work on educating drivers about what their cars can do, according to a new survey by the market research company J.D. Power and Associates. The study asked owners about their experiences after 90 days owning 2016 model-year vehicles. The vehicles had to be new or redesigned in the last three years. Customers were asked to rate their in-vehicle technology. They gave the highest satisfaction ratings to blind-spot warning systems and backup cameras. Navigation systems got the lowest scores, with many drivers saying they found it difficult to enter a destination using voice commands. Voice-recognition systems also got low ratings. To see the full article, go to:

back to top Back to top


2016 'Roads Between Us' event wrap up

Source: Global Road Safety Partnership, October 2016

Nestlé, Zurich Insurance, eDriving Fleet, Aon, International SOS and the Global Road Safety Partnership hosted the 3rd "Roads Between Us" road safety conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia October 4-5, 2016. The 2016 program sought to build on the impact of previous events by showcasing successes and exploring challenges in effective work-related road risk management. More than 70 participants assembled at the venue representing a broad range of private sector and civil society organizations from across the region and beyond, each sharing a passion for improving quality of life through safer roads. A key takeaway from the 2016 event was a commitment from 11 organizations with Malaysian presence to discuss the potential for a 'Malaysian Road Safety Collaboration' which could take collective and individual actions, continue sharing good practice and encourage peers to get involved. To see the full article, go to:

Democratizing car safety through vision zero

Source: Global NCAP, October 3, 2016

A new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development/ International Trade Federation (OECD/ITF) written by a group of more than 30 road safety experts representing 24 countries has backed Global NCAP's road map for improved vehicle safety. The OECD/ITF report also recognizes the important role of Global NCAP and regional NCAPs in increasing vehicle safety and reducing fatalities by encouraging legislative 'push' and consumer 'pull' in automotive markets across the world. Launched during a high level road safety seminar held at its headquarters in Paris earlier this month, the new report titled Zero road deaths and serious injuries: leading a paradigm shift to a safe system found that to significantly reduce road fatalities and serious injuries on a global scale will require more than increasing efforts in implementing traditional road safety measures. Instead, governments must adopt a paradigm shift, taking the UN's road-safety related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an opportunity to fundamentally review their road safety policies in the context of a Safe System approach. The report includes a clear call to action through ten key recommendations. To see the full article with a link to the report, go to:

back to top Back to top


U.S. DOT, National Safety Council launch Road to Zero Coalition to end roadway fatalities

Source: U.S. DOT press release, October 5, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are joining forces with the National Safety Council (NSC) to launch the Road to Zero Coalition with the goal of ending fatalities on the nation's roads within the next 30 years. The Department of Transportation has committed $1 million a year for the next three years to provide grants to organizations working on lifesaving programs. The Road to Zero Coalition will initially focus on promoting proven lifesaving strategies, such as improving seat belt use, installing rumble strips, truck safety, behavior change campaigns and data-driven enforcement. Additionally, the coalition will then lead the development of a new scenario-based vision on how to achieve zero traffic deaths based on evidence-based strategies and a systematic approach to eliminating risks. The "zero deaths" idea was first adopted in Sweden in 1997 as "Vision Zero" and since then has evolved across the country and across the world. A growing number of states and cities have adopted "Zero" fatality visions. To see the full press release, go to:

Now available - 'Buckle Up during this Thanksgiving Weekend' campaign materials

Source: NHTSA Traffic Safety Marketing

This Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23-28), millions will hit our nation's roads, eager to spend time with family and friends. It's one of the busiest travel times of the year, and unfortunately more people on the roadways means the potential for more vehicle crashes. During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2014 (6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 26, to 5:59 a.m. on Monday, December 1), 341 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in traffic crashes across the nation. Tragically, 50% of those killed were not buckled up at the time of their fatal crash. Remind employees that "buckling up could save their giblets" with campaign materials from NHTSA's Traffic Safety Marketing that are available here:

back to top Back to top

Upcoming Transportation/Safety Events

Oct. 27
8:30 AM–5:00 PM,
NTSB Board Room and Conference Center
Washington D.C.

Panel Event and Roundtable: Reaching Zero Crashes: A Dialogue on the Role of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

The event will be streamed via live webcast here:

For more information, go to:

Oct. 26-28 2016
Global NCAP Annual Meeting
IIHS Vehicle Research Center
Ruckersville, VA

The Annual Meeting will feature an Open Day on Fleet Safety organized in association with the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS). The Open Day will include a seminar of best practice in fleet safety chaired and moderated by Joe McKillips, NETS' Executive Director, as well as the launch of Global NCAP's safer vehicle purchase guidelines.

For more information, visit:

Nov. 23-28
Thanksgiving holiday weekend

For safe-driving campaign materials from NHTSA's Traffic Safety Marketing that can be shared with employees, go to:

March 26-28 2017
Lifesavers Conference
Charlotte Convention Center

Registration opens November 1. For more information go to:

back to top Back to top