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NETS Stages Drive Safely Work Week Campaign

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) launches its annual interactive, Web-based Drive Safely Work Week tool kit to combat distracted driving in the workplace and promote eco-friendly driving practices.

October 2009, by Cheryl Knight - Also by this author

With traffic crashes the number one cause of death and injury in the workplace, as well as costing employers more than $60 billion annually in the U.S. alone, getting employees home safely at the end of the day is top of mind for companies nationwide.

Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have concluded that 80 percent of all crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes are due to some form of driver inattention. To combat the issue, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) sponsors Drive Safely   Work Week (DSWW) October 5-9.

DSWW is a national workplace traffic safety initiative aimed at educating employees on targeted issues in safe driving, whether they drive for work or just to and from work.

Now in its 13th year, DSWW is an annual campaign available to companies and the public.

"The campaign tool kit is entirely Web-based, providing downloadable messages, graphics, activities, and interactive tools for each day of the campaign week," said Jack Hanley, executive director of NETS. "Materials are not dated, so they can be utilized throughout the year to make driving safely a part of every day and every trip, on and off the job."

A highlight in this year's tool kit is an interactive distracted driving self-assessment that can be distributed via e-mail to employees. By answering a series of questions on driving behavior, employees discreetly learn how their driving habits rate on a scale developed by a panel of driving-safety experts.

Other tool kit components include:

  • Fact/tip sheets on campaign issues.
  • Interactive quizzes and tools.
  • Daily activities and communication messages.
  • Downloadable graphics.
  • Resources for global employers.

"In today's tough economic climate, our businesses appreciate the DSWW materials include meaningful messages and activities easily shared and implemented without taking significant time away from the work day," said Dan Vartanian, corporate program coordinator of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

'Driving Smart' Focus of 2009 DSWW Campaign

This year's campaign theme, Drive Focused - Drive Smart - Get Home Safely, focuses on issues of distracted driving and eco-friendly driving - driving smart to minimize the impact driving habits can have on the environment.

"The Drive Safely Work Week campaign is designed for businesses of all sizes," explained Maureen Mazurek, director of human rights for Monsanto Company and NETS chairperson. "Even companies with a robust fleet safety program find the campaign a great way to include everyone in safe driving awareness and practices."

Founded in 1989, NETS is a partnership between the federal government and more than 40 leading companies. Its board of directors is comprised of Abbott, AmeriFleet Transportation, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Chubb Group of Insurance, General Motors Company, Johnson & Johnson, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, Monsanto Company, Nationwide Mutual Insurance, and UPS. In addition, NHTSA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) are federal liaisons to the board.
Benefits of NETS membership include access to a resource center of safe-driving materials and a comprehensive benchmarking program, thus helping reduce crash rates.

According to Hanley, NETS' and DSWW's reach goes beyond company fleets. "Our programs encourage companies to reach out beyond fleet drivers and to all employees and families by modeling good driving behavior," he said.

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