Environmental Health & Safety

June is National Safety Month

Driving Seat belt Safety

More than 40,000 people were killed in crashes on U.S. roads in 2017, according to preliminary estimates from the @National Safety Council. Another 4.57 million people were injured seriously enough to require medical attention.

Week 4: Driving

Know the New Techology in Vehicles

For the majority of us, the most dangerous part of the day
is the drive to and from work.
According to Injury Facts®,
2017 Edition, transportation-related events represent 41
percent of occupational fatalities and there were more
than 40,300 deaths from motor vehicle crashes in 2016,
according to National Safety Council analysis. These risks
make it crucial that you practice safe driving habits whether
you are on or off the clock. Many new vehicles come
equipped with advanced safety features, called Advanced
Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), which can dramatically
improve driver safety, but it is important that you understand
the safety features available to you and know how to use
them correctly.

Not Yet Self-Driving
Assistive safety technology like ADAS includes everything from back-up cameras and automatic emergency brakes to lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. These features have the potential to prevent many crashes and reduce injuries, as 94 percent of motor vehicle crashes involve driver error. However, you must remember that ADAS features cannot replace you as a driver. No matter how advanced the features in your vehicle are, you are still your car’s best safety feature. Even if your vehicle can change lanes on its own or apply the brakes in an emergency, if you
are behind the wheel you need to devote your full attention to driving.

Fleet Driver Safety
Fleet drivers face particular risks, since your day-to-day work puts you on the road more often than many other employees. ADAS features, then, have great potential to improve safety in the fleet industry. According to estimates from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, for example, automatic emergency braking can reduce rear-end crashes by about 40 percent.

Still, these improvements are only possible if you understand how these technologies work, how to use them and when to engage them. You should know when any new safety features are introduced into your fleet and receive training on how to properly use them. If you do not use ADAS features,
you could miss out on safety improvements, while using them incorrectly could mean putting yourself at risk.

Use Safety Features to Your Advantage
Here are some tips to get the most of your vehicle’s safety features:

  • Pay full attention to the road - ADAS safety features are notmeant to replace drivers
  • Learn when to appropriately use or rely on these features
  • Do not ignore vehicle safety warnings
  • Do not disable safety features without reason

Rental Cars for Employees
If you regularly drive a rental car as part of your job, take a few moments to learn more about the new safety features in these vehicles before you pull out of the parking lot. The best way to learn about a vehicle’s safety features is to look through the manual before driving it for the first time. You
might be surprised at some of the advanced features, such as self-parking or adaptive headlights, the vehicle offers. If you have questions about the features present in a car and how to use them correctly, be sure to ask the rental company representative before driving away. Also, do not assume that
a feature that you have on your car works the same way on the rental. There are variations in operation and design of which you should be aware.

Take Your Safety Training Home
Everyone, even those of us who do not drive as part of our workdays, can take these lessons home to keep our families safe. If you, a friend or a loved one owns, or recently
purchased a new vehicle, take some time to look through the manual and find the safety features it offers. Features like back-up cameras and blind spot monitors can make
enormous differences in driver safety, but too many of us do not understand how they work or whether they are even part of our cars. We invite you to visit www.mycardoeswhat.org
to see how these ADAS features work.

Think about one person in your life, whether a friend, new driver or coworker, who could benefit from the safety features in their vehicle and talk to them about the proper ways to use them. You can make a difference in the safety of yourself, your coworkers and your loved ones by taking these lessons home.