April 20, 2017

Summaries of timely road safety news, events, and alerts
Message from NETS' Executive Director, Joe McKillips
For many years, NETS has sponsored Drive Safely Work Week™ (DSWW), a comprehensive road safety awareness campaign traditionally held the first week of October.  Historically, many found these materials to be valuable, but were only receiving the materials on an annual basis.  In order to bring year-round attention to these important messages, we are happy to announce that we are updating this hallmark program. 

Going forward, we will focus on short, direct and actionable messages, emphasizing simple and specific behaviors employees can change that will reduce their risk of a vehicle crash.  We’ll also deliver modules more frequently, often on a quarterly basis. 

Beginning next month, I’m excited to announce the next NETS Drive Safely Work Week™ module is focused on Speed, and offered in collaboration with the United Nations Global Road Safety Week May 8-12, 2017.  Information regarding the campaign will be posted to the NETS website, and additional launch communications will be forthcoming.

DSWW: Your Decisions Drive Your Safety
SPEED MODULE: May 8-12, 2017*
*In collaboration with United Nations Global Road Safety Week

Also,  registration is now open for the NETS Annual STRENGTH in NUMBERS® Benchmark Conference , scheduled for October 11-12, 2017 at the Omni Hotel in Charlottesville, VA. Invitation to register for the conference is one of the benefits of NETS membership, so if you’re not already a NETS member, I invite you to consider the benefits and join us at the only conference focused exclusively on traffic safety. 

Thanks for your continued support and please feel free to reach out to myself , or Susan Gillies if you have any questions about how NETS can help you to enhance the reach and effectiveness of your road safety program.  
Distracted Driving is the Most Common Factor in Crashes
Source: AAA New York, April 10, 2017
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that nationally, 7% of drivers are using cell phones at any given daylight moment. Traffic fatalities have increased markedly across the country over the last few years and over 3000 people are killed annually in crashes involving distracted drivers. The American public generally understands the dangers of distracted driving. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s 2016 Traffic Safety Culture Index, survey respondents rank drivers text messaging or emailing as the greatest threat to their personal safety on the road – higher even than drunk drivers. Ninety-four percent of drivers deem such behavior unacceptable. In the 2016 Traffic Safety Culture Index, 70% of people said distracted drivers were a much bigger problem today than three years ago. For perspective, less than half of respondents believed that aggressive drivers were a much bigger problem – and it was the next closest choice. To see New York AAA’s Stay Focused on Distracted Driving: Analysis of New York ticket data and recommendations for public officials and police departments, go to:   AAA New York Report
New Research Indicates Anti-Drunk Driving Efforts Should Include Bicyclists and Pedestrians
Source: IIHS, April 12, 2017
More than one-third of pedestrians and one-fifth of bicyclists killed in crashes in 2014 were impaired by alcohol, but scant attention has been paid to the problem. This omission contrasts starkly with the many successful policies that have reduced impaired driving, a new Institute study notes. Previous research has shown that crashes involving pedestrians or bicyclists are more likely to result in death or serious injury when the pedestrians or bicyclists have been drinking. Alcohol impairment contributes to poor decision-making, which can lead to dangerous pedestrian behavior — for example, crossing a street at a dangerous time or location. Alcohol also degrades psychomotor skills, which are important for riding a bike. "Education and enforcement campaigns aimed at reducing impaired driving may give people the erroneous impression that walking or riding a bike is a safe alternative," says IIHS Senior Research Scientist Angela Eichelberger, the study’s lead author. "The public needs to be better informed about the dangers of alcohol impairment for anybody on the road." To see the full article, go to:  Anti-Drunk Driving Efforts Should Include Bicyclists and Pedestrians
NETS’ Executive Director Quoted in CNN Article: Distracted Driving, Urging Companies to Crack Down
Source: CNN, April 4, 2017
Every day, more than eight people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes reported to involve distracted driving, which includes activities such as talking on a cell phone, texting and eating, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. In 2004, David Teater of Spring Lake, Michigan, lost his 12-year-old son, the youngest of three boys, to a distracted driver. Afterward, he knew there were a few different ways he could get involved to raise awareness about this deadly problem. But where he decided to focus his time was on the business community, encouraging companies to institute bans on using cell phones while driving. It could help save their employees' lives and raise awareness about an epidemic on the roads. "With the continued proliferation of social media and ever present urge for drivers to 'stay connected,' distracted driving continues to pose a major challenge for employers and in many cases represents a core element of their overall road safety program," said Joe McKillips, executive director of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety.  To read the full article and see the video, go to: Distracted Driving, Urging Companies to Crack Down
Why Teens Still Don’t Want to Get a Driver’s License   
Source: Stateline, March 3, 2017
The share of high school seniors across the country who have a driver’s license dropped from 85.3 percent in 1996 to a record low 71.5 percent in 2015, according to data from the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future survey. Part of the reason is economic: fewer jobs, especially during the Great Recession, which meant teens didn’t need to get to work and had less money to bankroll their rides. But even as the economy improved, the share of high school seniors with a license has generally been on the decline. That’s partly a result of tough new rules imposed on young drivers and an explosion in ride-hailing and ride-sharing services. The shift appears to be having a direct impact on safety. What could be behind the rise? Some traffic safety analysts say licensed teens are driving more as the economy improves and they get jobs. And, they say, more are getting licenses after they turn 18, when most states no longer require training for new drivers. To see the full article, go to: Why Teens Still Don’t Want to Get a Driver’s License
Top Things Drivers are Doing That Threaten Traffic Safety
Source: National Safety Council, April 3, 2017
With motor vehicle deaths increasing substantially, the National Safety Council identified some of the top driver behaviors and beliefs that put all roadway users at risk and increase the likelihood of being involved in a crash. Compiled through NSC surveys conducted over the last 12 months, the alarming driver habits and opinions could help partially explain why deaths are rising and underscore the importance of raising awareness, particularly in April which is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. "Most Americans recognize risky drivers on the roadways, but they are not adopting safer behaviors themselves," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "The notion that bad things happen to other people, but will not happen to us when we are distracted behind the wheel, is akin to playing Russian roulette." To see the full news release, go to:  Top Things Drivers are Doing That Threaten Traffic Safety
Adding Up the Impact: A new NSC tool can let organizations see the real costs of abuse
Source: National Safety Council, March 27, 2017
America’s drug crisis has made its way into the workplace. While the unprecedented rise in fatal drug overdoses – largely from prescription painkillers – has concerned public health professionals and lawmakers for years, little has been said about the epidemic’s impact on employers. Although 75 percent of adults who struggle with addictions are in the workforce, society overwhelmingly sees drug overdose and abuse as a problem limited to our homes and communities. However, addiction does not end at the front stoop or magically subside between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Addiction is an around-the-clock disease, and 71 percent of employers have been impacted by it in some way. To see the full news release, go to:  New NSC tool can let organizations see the real costs of abuse
Sleepy behind the wheel? Some cars can tell
Source: New York Times News Service, March 17, 2017
It’s something that many of us have experienced while driving, though we may not like to admit it. It’s called a microsleep, a brief state of drowsy unconsciousness that can happen even if your eyes remain open. Drowsy driving kills. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving caused 824 deaths in 2015, the last year for which figures are available. Several manufacturers, including Audi, Mercedes and Volvo, currently offer drowsiness detection systems that monitor a vehicle’s movements, such as steering wheel angle, lane deviation, time driven and road conditions. When drowsiness is detected, drivers are typically warned with a sound and the appearance of a coffee cup icon. But manufacturers and automobile suppliers are now working on advanced technological solutions that go beyond visions of coffee cups. Regardless of how good technology is at detecting drowsiness, fighting off sleep is futile. Until fully autonomous vehicles are a reality, “drowsiness is something everyone needs to worry about,” said Mark Rosekind, former head of the transportation agency and an expert on human fatigue. “Our tendency is to say we’re wide-awake when in reality we can fall asleep in a second.” Because sleep is a biological need, the best solution for drivers is still a low-tech one: Pull over and take a nap. To read the full article, go to:   Sleepy behind the wheel? Some cars can tell
Contrary to What We're Being Told, Self-Driving Cars Are Still Years Away
Source: PJ Media, March 19, 2017
If you’re a hard-working middle American truck driver, you might think your job is going to be eliminated with self-driving trucks. There’s no reason to be scared, because the technology and infrastructure are years behind what we are being told. Too much of what we read are simply stories created by these tech companies and spread by their public relations departments and consultants to create news headlines. Before self-driving cars become a reality on our roads, so much needs to happen, both in the industry and in government. Standards need to be developed among all the players and the government; highways, local roads, street signs, and signals need to be changed to eliminate trouble spots. That’s not to say self-driving cars will not be a reality someday with all their benefits of reducing accidents and saving lives. But the first wave will be years of driver-assisted self-driving cars that require the driver to be able to intervene at a split second’s notice. To read the full article, go to:   Self Driving Cars Years Away
Virtual Reality Can Help Drivers Understand the Question, “My Car Does What?”
Source: National Safety Council, March 27, 2017
A new survey from the National Safety Council found 39 percent of drivers with new safety technologies in their vehicles say sometimes their vehicles act in ways that scare or surprise them. To help educate drivers and understand new vehicle safety technologies, the Council and the University of Iowa have developed the first-of-its-kind virtual reality mobile phone app, CarTech VR360, which gives drivers a 360-degree tour of some of the safety systems so drivers have a better understanding how the technologies work. "This might be one of the few cell phone apps that help people be safer drivers," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "Virtual reality is more engaging than any owner’s manual; we hope that people use the technology to discover all of the advanced driver assistance systems their vehicles have to offer." To see the full news release, go to: Virtual Reality: My Car Does What
GHSA: Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2016 Preliminary Data
Source: GHSA, March 2017
GHSA's annual Spotlight on Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities projects an 11% increase in the number of persons on foot killed on U.S. roadways last year, compared to 2015. This report offers a first look at state-by-state trends in pedestrian traffic fatalities for 2016, using preliminary data provided by all 50 State Highway Safety Offices and the District of Columbia. States reported 2,660 pedestrian fatalities for the first six months of 2016, compared to 2,486 deaths during the same time period in the previous year. Using this data and historic trends, GHSA estimates that there were 5,997 pedestrian fatalities in 2016. Potential factors contributing to this spike include a better economy, an increase in walking as a primary mode of transportation, and distraction due to growing use of smartphone technology. To view the full report, go to: GHSA Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities Report
Asleep At The Wheel: A National Compendium of Efforts to Eliminate Drowsy Driving
Source: NHTSA, March 2017
Fatigue has costly effects on the safety, health, and quality of life of the American public. While estimates differ on the exact incidence of drowsy driving, we can all agree it is a critical traffic safety issue that leads to thousands of deaths each year and causes an estimated $109 billion of societal harm. The traffic safety community has been successful in developing effective methods to change behavior related to drinking and driving, seat belt use, and a number of other safety risks, but has been unable to mitigate drowsy driving in an effective, widespread and organized manner. NHTSA convened the forum “Asleep at the Wheel: A Nation of Drowsy Drivers” on November 4 and 5, 2015, during the National Sleep Foundation’s National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, and sought to establish a partnership in which years of unique knowledge and experience could be combined to effectively address the challenge of eliminating drowsy driving. To read the full report, go to:  NHTSA: Asleep at the Wheel
The Effect of High-Visibility Enforcement on Driver Compliance with Pedestrian Right-of-Way Laws
Source: NHTSA, March 2017
This study is a follow-up to a previous study entitled High Visibility Enforcement on Driver Compliance with Pedestrian Right-of-Way Laws. The objective was to determine the extent to which the observed increases in driver yielding obtained in the previous study persisted over a follow-up period of nearly four years after the high visibility enforcement intervention program ended. To download the full report, go to:   The Effect of High-Visibility Enforcement on Driver Compliance with Pedestrian Right-of-Way Laws
Join the global campaign to #SlowDown and save lives
Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week is May 8-14, 2017
The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a new web site inviting you to join the global campaign to #SlowDown and save lives: The web site will be the main source of information, messages, and materials related to the Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week to be held May 8-14, 2017 on managing speed. The #SlowDown campaign seeks to increase understanding of the dangers of speed and generate action on measures to address this major risk for road traffic death and injury. National and local governments, international agencies, civil society organizations, foundations, private companies, and the public generally are invited to plan and host events marking the Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week. Visit  www.unroadsafetyweek.org  for more information.
Road Fatalities Down 2 Percent in European Union
Source: European Commission, March 28, 2017
European roads remain the safest in the world: in 2016, the EU counted 50 road fatalities per one million inhabitants, against 174 deaths per million globally. Last year marked a turning point in reducing road fatalities: after two years of stagnation, the number of those who lost their lives on the roads was reduced by 2%. 25,500 people were killed in 2016, 600 fewer than in 2015 and 6,000 fewer than in 2010. This represents a 19% reduction over the last six years. While reaching the strategic target of halving the number of road deaths between 2010 and 2020 is still an extreme challenge, it is worth trying as every single saved life matters. To see the full press release, go to:   European Commission Report
iRAP 3-star or better advocacy brochure now in Arabic, Portuguese and Spanish
Source: The International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP), March 27, 2017
For the first time the United Nations has included road deaths and injuries as a Sustainable Development Goal (3.6). iRAP believes that improving the world's roads to a 3-star or better rating is a key way to achieve the SDG target of halving road deaths and injuries by 2020. To download the brochure in six different languages, go to: iRAP Advocacy Brochure

2017 Campaign:
Move Over. It's the Law.

With Hawaii signing on in 2012 as the 50th and final State to enact "Move Over" legislation, we need to get the word out to all drivers and maximize the safety potential of these laws. By working with local organizations and raising public awareness of "Move Over" laws through earned and social media, you can make a difference and save lives. For new campaign materials from NHTSA's Traffic Safety Marketing to increase awareness of these life-saving "Move Over" laws and highlight the need to protect public safety professionals who place themselves at risk to protect motorists, go to: Move Over. It's the Law.

May 8-14, 2017
Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week
#SlowDown and Save Lives

For more information, go to: www.unroadsafetyweek.org

May:  Motorcycle Awareness Month

For awareness materials from NHTSA’s Traffic Safety Marketing, go to:


May:  Cinco de Mayo
Drunk Driving Prevention Campaign

For awareness materials from NHTSA’s Traffic Safety Marketing, go to:


June 6-8, 2017
Global Fleet Conference
Miami, FL

For more information or to register, go to:


July 24-26, 2017
Fleet Safety Conference
Schaumburg, IL

For more information or to register, go to:


Note from the editor:
All links to stories have been tested and are active 24 hours prior to distribution; however, links may become inactive over time at the discretion of the publication source.
About NETSWork®
NETSWork is published electronically on or about the 15th of each month by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety, Susan Gillies, editor, Joe McKillips, Executive Director.
Network of Employers for Traffic Safety
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