December—Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month

[tweetmeme]December is Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month, and with the onset of the holidays and winter weather, it’s a good opportunity to remind employees about driving safely both on and off the job.

Why It Matters …

  •  More than 13,000 people died in work-related roadway accidents in the United States between 1992 and 2001.
  •  In 2002 alone, more than 17,000 people in the United States died in alcohol-related roadway accidents.
  •  Accidents involving drugs and alcohol will affect one in three Americans during their lifetime.

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of work-related deaths.

Roadway accidents not only kill employees such as truck drivers, who spend all of their time on the road, but also employees who simply are using their own or a company vehicle for job-related purposes.  A National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study of 3,000 work-related driving fatalities showed that a highway tragedy can happen to any
employee under any circumstances. The study found:

  •  Nearly half of all accidents involve something other than another motor vehicle—in fact, 14 percent of the workers killed were pedestrians.
  •  More than two-thirds of accidents occur among workers aged 25 to 54.
  •  85 percent of accidents occur during normal weather conditions.

Drinking, drugs, and driving are a fatal combination.  More than 40 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the United States involve alcohol, and drugs such as cocaine and marijuana are involved in approximately 20 percent of fatalities.  Most tragic of all, these accidents often involve children under the legal driving age who are passengers riding with drivers under the influence.   Only 20 percent of the children killed in alcohol-related accidents were wearing proper safety restraints (seat belts or car seats).

Remind employees to take safe driving seriously.

Fatal highway accidents can have a tragic impact on their own and their families’ lives.

  • Mandatory seat belt use for job-related driving—62 percent of the victims in the NIOSH study were NOT wearing any sort of restraints.
  • Everyone should always, at a minimum, check such basic items as tires, front and rear lights, wipers, and washer fluid before starting out.
  • Take it easy in bad weather such as snow and ice—it’s better to arrive late than not at all.

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