Saved by the Belt

Seat belts save lives.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wearing your seat belt can reduce your chances of a fatal injury by 45%. NHTSA also reports that 90% of Americans wear their seat belts when in a motor vehicle. One state in particular is driving that statistic down. As the only state that does not require adults to wear a seat belt, New Hampshire has an average seat belt usage of only 70%, according to NHPR.

Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of workplace fatalities in America. Just because New Hampshire doesn’t have a seat belt law for adults, doesn’t mean employers shouldn’t have a policy in place. It is strongly recommended that companies make seat belt usage mandatory for drivers and passengers who are using vehicles on company time. Companies should have a written seat belt policy, as well as routine education for drivers and passengers on the importance of motor vehicle safety. Another effective method for increasing seat belt use is through establishing a seat belt pledge that employees sign to commit to wearing their seat belt.

To increase motor vehicle safety, Business & Legal Resources also recommends companies should:

  • Set safe driving policies governing employees who drive on the job.
  • Check driving records for all employees before they are allowed to drive on company business.
  • Require all employees to report any accidents or moving violations—even during personal driving.
  • Require them to report near misses as well—assure them that reporting near misses will not subject them to disciplinary action.
  • Establish procedures to investigate all accidents and near misses—the focus should be on eliminating the causes and preventing future accidents.
  • Establish rules for the use of company vehicles.
  • Institute a defensive driver training program for all employees (not just those who drive on the job).
  • Spell out provisions about using cell phones, texting, eating, listening to music players with earphones, or other distractions while driving.
  • Forbid the use of alcohol and drugs while driving.
  • Require drivers to obey speed limits and all other driving safety rules.
  • Define disciplinary action that will be taken for violation of company policy.

Your company’s most valuable asset is its employees. Help keep them safe by making them buckle up.

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