Our Driving Concern Senior Program Manager Lisa Robinson speaks to issues and concerns all employers face when trying to make their workforce safe on the road:
Q: What contributes to nighttime driving issues?
A: A driver’s field of vision can be narrowed to include only areas illuminated by headlights and fixed road lights. Depth perception and peripheral vision can be compromised. And then, there is fatigue.
Fatigue is caused by sleep-deprivation, time-on-task tedium and body-clock disruption. All can be factors leading to drowsy driving. The ability to sustain attention, see and react to hazards dips when drivers are drowsy. In a National Safety Council survey, one in five working Americans admitted to falling asleep while driving in the past month.
October is a good time to talk about risks associated with night driving and pedestrian safety because the month typically is reserved for fall festivals and Halloween activities and concludes as daylight savings time nears an end. Your drivers and employees will be driving during more in the dark.
In Texas, impaired visibility contributed to 4,033 crashes in 2016, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. October was the deadliest month on state roads with 337 fatal crashes. Pedestrian fatalities increased by 21.5% from 2015.
Nationwide, darting or running into the road accounts for about 70% of pedestrian deaths and injuries for those age 5 to 9 and about 47% of incidents for those 10 to 14, according to NSC data. Little ones are known to race around neighborhoods as they look to fill up their goodie bags during trick-or-treating hours. Slow down and keep watch when driving on Halloween.
A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association indicates 82% of pedestrian fatalities occur outside intersections. Alcohol involvement for the driver and/or the pedestrian is a contributing factor in about half of traffic crashes that result in pedestrian fatalities. Halloween is a time for costume parties and revelry, but not for straying outside of crosswalks.
Post these night driving safety tips on your bulletin board or other internal channels to help keep your workforce safe:
Adjust your speed for the range of your headlights; use high beams when possible
Keep your eyes moving
Watch for cars and people on hilltops, curves and approaching intersections
Try not to look directly into the headlights of oncoming traffic; blinding glare can cause distraction
Keep windshields and headlight lenses clean
What else can you do? From time-to-time, share talking points on a variety of traffic safety issues. Huddle Up: Call a Winning Traffic Safety Play.