Normally held in April, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year October will be observed as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This annual promotion sponsored by the National Safety Council brings awareness to a primary cause of preventable injury and death on the roads, distracted driving.
The NSC website reports that on a typical day, more than 700 people are injured because of driver distractions. This includes, but is not limited to phone calls, text messages, and entertainment system adjustments. Likewise, the CDC reports that each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.
Distracted Driving Affects Everyone
While cell phones are a primary distraction we can all relate to, it is only one of many things that contribute to the preventable collisions noted above. If you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off of your driving for any reason, you place yourself and others at risk.
The National Safety Council focuses on eliminating the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths. As part of the October campaign, NSC is providing free downloadable materials to encourage companies to create distracted driving prevention programs.
What can you do to prevent Distracted Driving?
You can commit to driving distraction free by taking the NSC Just Drive pledge. Thanks to a partnership with The Zebra, the nation’s leading insurance comparison site, NSC will receive a donation of $1 for every pledge taken and match 100% of every donation made, up to $5,000, today through Nov. 6.
First, consider taking the pledge or making a donation. Also, consider promoting the pledge to your company drivers and their families. Ultimately, if we all do just a little, many lives can be saved.
The theme is Just Drive. Simple and to the point, it is a great reminder to us all to put down the phone, stop fiddling with the equalizer, and just drive.
Workplace safety is a responsibility employers cannot take lightly. Whether you have decided it’s time to reopen your business, or just move from working in isolation back to some measure of how it used to be, you need to have a clear plan in place. It is your job to assure the work environment is safe for both customers and employees.
Relying on safety experts will improve the overall safety plan and may reduce liability in the event of a safety violation injury. Unfortunately, we have learned by watching the news over the past few months that not even the experts agree all the time. So where can an employer go for sound advice? Thankfully, the National Safety Council has addressed this head on with a new free program, Safe Actions for Employee Returns or SAFER.
NSC and the SAFER Program Tools for Workplace Safety
The National Safety Council (NSC) is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate. They are probably most well known for their Defensive Driving Course, required in many states to reinstate a driver’s license after multiple driving violations. Their primary focus is eliminating the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths in various environments. Ultimately that includes injury and death due to workplace safety issues.
The SAFER program, assembled and updated by a task force comprised of large and small Fortune 500 companies, provides guidance for safely reopening the workplace. Taskforce members include nonprofits, legal experts, public health professionals, medical professionals, and government agency representatives. They make recommendations based on best practices and proven workplace safety strategies.
The SAFER program provides free resources and tools you can download. As the body of knowledge about the Covid-19 virus grows and changes, the resources are updated. Even better, you can register to be notified by email when new resources become available. This is great way to ensure your workplace safety policies remain relevant and up to date.
What Resources are Available?
Resources are available to assess vulnerability, survey employees, and educate using their recorded webinars. Moreover, you can download PowerPoint presentations to use at your staff meetings and attend online workshops. NSC also maintains a page that details the federal guidelines and has useful links to resources like a COVID Tracer spreadsheet. A set of 4 posters designed to keep safe practices on everyone’s mind is the only item we found with a modest price tag.
The breadth of subject matter is impressive! The information provided covers topics including creating an action plan, office operations, managing anxiety, entrance screening, and what to do if you anyone in your workplace has a confirmed case of COVID 19.
Getting a ticket in another state can be a challenge to deal with. The thought of returning to Massachusetts to go to driving school, traffic court or pay a fine can be overwhelming. The good news is that Tampa based Fleetistics offers the National Safety Council Defensive Driving Course which is often sufficient to address an out of state ticket if okayed by the court. Of course, this must go through the proper process.
Talk to the Judge or Traffic Court
Call the court of jurisdiction for your out of state ticket to discuss the possibility of taking the NSC certified Fleetistics DDC course as a way to resolve the ticket without returning. Send them this URL https://www.fleetistics.com/resources/nsc/ and ask if taking this course will suffice. Be sure to take notes on who you spoke to and when. Get everything in writing and hold onto it for 5 years. If there is an error you do not want a warrant for your arrest. Once you provide the DDC certificate of completion ask for a letter for your files indicating you have satisfied the court.
Defensive Driving Course
Fleetistics is the only active certified NSC DDC trainer in Florida. We offer a friendly atmosphere, comfortable conditions, and a friendly instructor. The day is long but we make it as painless as possible. If you enter with an open mind you will actually appreciate the safety refresher, especially if you have children you are working to protect.
The DDC course is a combination of instructor lead conversation and videos provided by the National Safety Council. You are required to complete the workbook and be in attendance for the entire course in order to receive your certificate. For more on registering for the course click this URL. https://www.fleetistics.com/resources/nsc/
Commercial Driver Training
Commercial fleet operators can utilize the NSC DDC training as part of a progressive discipline and training program for at-risk drivers. Employers can pay for the training or require the drivers to pay depending on the safety and training program offered. This step shows the driver you are serious but that you care enough to offer remedial training and a final opportunity to exhibit the driving habits required to avoid costly accidents and litigation. Employers have more to add to their defense if subjected to a wrongful termination lawsuit by a driver. Insurance companies may offer discounts if the training is provided 1-2 times annually to keep safety on everyone’s mind.