The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) today launched its annual Drive Safely Work Week campaign, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the safe-driving initiative targeted to employers.

More than 2,500 organizations representing approximately 13 million employees are set to take part in the campaign. The initiative promotes safe-driving education and awareness to all employees — company drivers and commuters alike. This year’s campaign comes on the heels of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announcement that traffic fatalities in 2015 increased 7.2% over the previous year, the greatest percentage increase in 50 years.

Motor vehicle-related incidents remain the leading cause of workplace fatalities in the U.S. and are responsible for 1.6 million lost workdays per year, with 90% attributed to traffic crashes that occur off the job.

Graphic courtesy of NETS.

Graphic courtesy of NETS.

“Employers have the opportunity to play an important role in reversing the recent increase in traffic fatalities,” said Joseph McKillips, executive director of NETS. “Driving is likely the riskiest thing any employee does on a daily basis. Taking the time to remind all drivers that they are the most important safety feature in their vehicle is good for the health and safety of employees, it’s good business sense and it’s the right thing to do. The Drive Safely Work Week campaign gives employers of all sizes the opportunity to do just that.”

This year’s campaign theme is, “Drowsy, Distracted or Focused — Your Decisions Drive Your Safety." The campaign calls on drivers to take a hard look at what they do behind the wheel — or before they get behind the wheel — that might increase their risk of a crash, starting with the significance of being well-rested. The issues of drowsy driving, distracted driving, speeding, and the importance of wearing a seat belt on every trip are emphasized.

NETS makes available a free toolkit that includes an interactive driver-risk assessment, graphics, social media posts, PowerPoint presentations, and more that may be downloaded at Campaign materials are not dated so organizations can use them at any time throughout the year.

NETS, a 501(c) 3 employer-led organization, is a partnership between the U.S. federal government and the private sector. NETS’ mission is to reduce road-related collisions, injuries, deaths, and costs.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet