The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) launched this year’s Drive Safely Work Week campaign on Monday, Oct. 5, calling on employers to consider the driving safety of all employees – not just company fleet drivers.
Drive Safely Work Week is a safety initiative of NETS and its member companies. This year’s campaign extends through Friday, Oct. 9. The theme is “#PlanAhead – Your Key to Driving Safely.”
NETS is a public-private partnership committed to reducing traffic crashes.
To make participation in the campaign easy, NETS provides a free toolkit online that includes sample email blasts, graphics, social media posts, PowerPoint presentations and more. Campaign materials underscore that planning may be the most critical leg of any driving trip, whether the trip takes place on the job or off. Materials cover the importance of planning for travel that takes place in unfamiliar territory. NETS also reminds employers that they carry risks and liabilities similar to company-vehicle drivers for any employee who drives a personal or rental vehicle for business purposes.
“During Drive Safely Work Week, we encourage employers to extend safe-driving awareness beyond company drivers to all employees and, ideally, to employee family members as well,” said Joe McKillips, chairperson of NETS and director of commercial environment, health and safety for healthcare company Abbott. “Regardless of occupation, driving is quite likely the riskiest thing anyone does on a daily basis. Taking the opportunity to communicate to all employees the importance of wearing seat belts and stowing mobile devices while driving, for example, is not just the right thing for employers to do, it also makes good business sense.”
When many think of the human and financial impact of traffic crashes on the workplace, they focus on company car drivers. But the last published report of The Economic Burden of Traffic Crashes on Employers shows that, in crashes resulting in injury, there is a nearly 1:1 ratio of the cost of on-the-job crashes to the cost of off-the-job crashes – those that take place outside of work hours that also include non-company vehicle driver-employees and their dependents.
NETS is working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on an update to the report. Preliminary findings show that the trend has continued, NETS said.
Throughout the year, NETS works with its member companies, all of which operate fleets of light duty or heavy duty vehicles, to benchmark their fleet safety programs and share best practices. NETS members, half of which are Fortune 500 companies, collectively make up a fleet of 600,000 vehicles globally that travels in excess of 11 billion miles each year.
The 2015 DSWW toolkit may be downloaded at no cost via the NETS website at www.trafficsafety.org.