Memorial Weekend– Be Safe

Memorial Day—A federal holiday  that honors soldiers and commemorates U.S. soldiers who died while in the military service.  We want to thank them, remember them, and honor them for their sacrifices and service.

Please be careful this weekend on the road.  Holiday traffic, distracted drivers, and drivers under the influence are a serious concern for your family’s safety.  Drive defensively and keep distractions to a minimum.  That includes hands free cell phone talking.  Texting, emailing, and talking on cell phones has become such a problem that companies and government agencies have enacted bans on cell phone use while their employees are driving.  Yes, they have banned all cell phone use while their employees are driving including hands free talking.  Hands free talking is still a distraction and can lead to tunnel vision and inattention blindness.  Do you want to keep your commercial auto and workers compensation claims down?  Your family safer?  Your personal auto premiums down? Try putting the phone down.

Stats, stats, and more stats.

“Distraction from cell phone use while driving (hand held or hands free) extends a driver's reaction as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (University of Utah)

The No.1 source of driver inattention is use of a wireless device. (Virginia Tech/NHTSA)

Drivers that use cell phones are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (NHTSA, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

Driving while distracted is a factor in 25 percent of police reported crashes.

Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent (Carnegie Mellon)”

“The proportion of fatalities reportedly associated with driver distraction increased from 10 percent in 2005 to 16 percent in 2009. During that time, fatal crashes with reported driver distraction also increased from 10 percent to 16 percent. (FARS and the National Automotive Sampling)

Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 cause of death in the United States for 3- to 34-year-olds. They also are the No. 1 cause of work-related deaths.  More than 2.2 million injuries resulted from vehicle crashes in 2008.”

NSC=The National Safety Council estimates 25 percent of all crashes in 2008 involved talking on cell phones – which accounted for 1.4 million crashes and 645,000 injuries that year.

Drive defensively–NHTSA estimates that every minute of the day over 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone. A few of your employees are among this number. If those employees cause an accident while driving on company business, you could be responsible not just for workers’ compensation and disability claims, but also for liability judgments from the injured party that your employee hit.

The following statistics were provided by MADD= Mothers Against Drunk Driving:

In 2007, 12,998 people died in alcohol-related crashes.

Someone is killed by a drunk driver once every 40 minutes, on average.

% of total traffic deaths DUI related  = 40%

DUI Fatalities past 5 years in Texas:  6,557

Rank 45–Texas is Ranked 45 out of 51 The ranking system is based on the percentage of total traffic deaths in each state that are DUI related, with the state ranked 1 having the best/lowest percentage of DUI related deaths & the state ranked 51 (D.C. is included as a separate entry) as having the highest/worst percentage of DUI related deaths in 2009.

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