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2005 Drive Safely Work Week Campaign Addresses Driver Distraction; Employers Nationwide Join Forces To Curb Driver Inattention


WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 -- Addressing the environmental, mental, and physical distractions that drivers engage in and encounter on our nationís roadways everyday, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) launches the 9th annual Drive Safely Work Week campaign today under the theme ďBe Ready. Be Set. Be Focused. Because you never know what you may encounter on the roadway.Ē The campaign will be observed by employers nationwide on October 3-7.

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death and injury in the workforce, and it is often employers who bear the human, economic, and legal costs associated with a crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving behaviors are responsible for 20 to 30 percent of all traffic crashes. Participating employers will join together during this week to raise awareness about driver focus and the need to devote oneís full attention to the driving task.

Driving is a complex task that requires drivers to look, listen, anticipate roadway hazards, and react safely. It requires a substantial degree of attention and concentration on the part of the driver. Drivers who are mentally or physically distracted react more slowly to traffic conditions and significantly reduce their ďmargin of safetyĒ leading them to take risks that they may not otherwise take. It is estimated that a driver makes 200 decisions for every mile of driving. In some instances, even a momentary distraction can have devastating results.

With the development and availability of in-vehicle and wireless technologies, the situation has grown even more dangerous for employees on the road and their employers. Employees today have access to a variety of technologies allowing them to do more while on the go than ever before-including the use of handheld personal communication devices and navigation systems. While many of these technologies allow employees to be more productive and accessible, if the devices are not use responsibly, they can significantly impair a driverís focus and result in a crash. Research indicates that not only do these devices require drivers to remove one or both hands while driving; they also significantly increase the driverís mental workload.

One of the best ways to keep employees safe on the road is to educate them about safety and promote safe driving practices. The goal of Drive Safely Work Week is to emphasize the importance of driving safely on and off the job to reduce preventable traffic crashes. NETS sponsors this national campaign annually to promote safe driving for all employees, whether they drive for work or commute to and from work. NETS provides the Drive Safely Work Week campaign materials to employers at no cost via its website at .

Next year will mark the campaignís 10th anniversary. Drive Safely Work Week 2006 will take place on October 2-6. Campaign materials will be available online on June 1.


Created in 1989, NETS is an employer-led, public/private partnership dedicated to improving the safety and health of employees, their families, and members of the communities in which they live and work, by preventing traffic crashes that occur on and off the job. NETS provides employers of all sizes with effective programs, policies, best practices, and employer- led activities related to traffic safety, thereby helping organizations to reduce the cost of doing business. Information on NETS is available from the organizationís Web site at


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