Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of workplace deaths in the U.S. According to CDC / NIOSH 1,299 U.S. workers died in a vehicle, on public roads, in a work-related crash, making up 25 percent of all work-related deaths. Truck, taxi and bus drivers are not the only focus of these driver incidents. Fifty-five percent of workers who died in 2017 were not in “driver” designated jobs.
According to the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, serious, nonfatal workplace injuries amount to nearly $60 billion in direct U.S. workers’ compensation costs per year. Translating into more than $1 billion dollars a week spent by businesses on these injuries.
This month our focus is on distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines “distracted driving” as any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving. There are three types of distraction:
- Visual - eyes off road
- Manual - hands off wheel
- Cognitive - mind off driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting while driving is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. Reading a standard text message takes roughly five seconds, during that time a vehicle travelling 55 mph would cover the length of a football field.
This October, we are highly encouraging all employers to take part in the National Safety Councils distracted driving awareness month. Learn more about the campaign here.
We can all work together to raise awareness on distracted driving, creating safer roadways for everyone. National Safety Council resources include:
If you would like any assistance fighting distracted driving this October, please reach out to your local Marsh & McLennan Agency Safety professional.