The annual Drive Safely Work Week campaign, sponsored by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) and supported by NAFA Fleet Management Association, is offering employers tool kits for free this year. The materials, which aim to reduce distracted driving on the roads with the message "Focus... Safe Driving Is Serious Business," may be downloaded at www.trafficsafety.org.
This year's campaign focuses on the role cell phones play in distracted driving. The use of cell phones or text messaging while driving significantly increases a driver's risk of being involved in an accident.
The Drive Safely Work Week campaign tool kit offer tips on how to prepare an organization for the launch of a new cell phone policy or reinforce an existing policy and how to build awareness on the issues related to distracted driving while developing strategies to minimize the danger. The tool kit includes facts on distracted driving, interactive quizzes and tools, daily activities and communication messages, and downloadable posters for the office.
"This is a very sensible and practical way to reinforce a cell phone policy or even put in place a cell phone policy that makes sense," said Jack Hanley, executive director of NETS. "We made the decision not to charge for the kits. It's nice to be able to offer something that is promoted well, is a good product, and available for free."
Each year, cell phone distractions cause 600,000 crashes, 330,000 injuries, and 3,000 deaths according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. This year's Drive Safely Work Week (October 4-8) contains a push for businesses to set up corporate cell phone policies to restrict or ban the use of phones while driving. The campaign encourages businesses to dedicate time to emphasize safe driving messages through facts, communications, and meaningful activities. It also points out several methods - including the use of call blocking technology and encouraging employees to commute via mass transit - that can help businesses reduce distracted driving.
"Businesses across the United States are recognizing the impact of this problem on their employees and are beginning to adopt anti-distracted driving policies," said United States Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "The materials in this kit are designed to help advance your company's efforts against distracted driving."
According to NAFA Executive Director Phillip E. Russo, CAE, "Safe driving is essential to the fleet managers who belong to NAFA, a group that collectively manages several million vehicles travelling on North American roads each day. NAFA has lent its support to the annual campaign for the past several years through a series of articles in the Association's print and online publications, press releases, and email blasts to the membership."
NETS, which has sponsored Drive Safely Work Week since 1996, is dedicated to improving the health and safety of employees, their families, and the community by preventing traffic crashes that occur both on- and off-the-job.