When it comes to keeping our shared roadways safe, we all play an important role--and that includes our nation's employers. And with yesterday's official kickoff of the 2012 Drive Safely Work Week (DSWW) campaign, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) is reminding employers that encouraging safe driving is smart for employees and for business.
According to a 2010 CDC report, the annual cost of medical care and productivity losses associated with injuries from motor vehicle crashes exceeds $99 billion, much of which falls on employers. That's why NETS has been sponsoring Drive Safely Work Week since 1996.
Each year, they produce a free, up-to-date toolkit to help employers promote safe driving policies and resources in the workplace. And they've got a big reach: in 2010 and 2011 combined, the DSWW toolkit was downloaded by over 7,000 employers. That represents about 25 million employees!
The theme of this year's campaign is "Back to Basics--Your Keys to Safe Driving," and it focuses on several key issues:
- Buckling up all the time and encouraging others to do the same,
- Recognizing and preventing fatigue-impaired driving,
- Driving distraction-free,
- Safe parking and backing, and
- Fine-tuning the fundamentals to avoid some of the most common types of crashes.
As Sandra Lee, NETS Chairperson and Director of Worldwide Fleets for Johnson & Johnson, said, "Having safe-driving policies in place is a crucial component of an organization’s safety culture. Drive Safely Work Week is an ideal time for employers to take a look at their policies, update them if necessary, and redistribute them to employees to renew attention and focus on safe driving behaviors.”
And the focus on safety behind the wheel doesn't end when an employee clocks out. One of the most important messages from Drive Safely Work Week is to take the safe driving commitment home and share it with family and friends.
No matter how long you've been driving, it's always a good idea to brush up on the basics. My thanks go out to our friends at NETS for making this terrific resource available to employers and for putting the spotlight on safe driving this and every October.