Vacationers Urged to Be Aware of Traffic Safety

Millions of drivers will be hitting the highways for the long Memorial Day weekend, the kickoff of the summer vacation season. Make sure your employees know the rules of the road.

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is reminding motorists to be aware of the fact that for many drivers, the road and their vehicle is where they work.

Transportation accidents are the number one cause of on-the-job deaths in the United States. Policemen, firemen, emergency medical technicians, salespeople, utility workers, deliverymen, truck drivers, construction work zone employees and many more are at work while on the road and at risk every day.

"With hundreds of thousands more vehicles expected to be on the road this summer it is important for all to drive safely or face a season of increased roadway crashes, deaths, injuries and property damage," said ASSE President James "Skipper" Kendrick. "Anyone operating a motor vehicle as part of his or her job is dangerously at risk of being involved in a roadway crash."

Of the 5,524 fatal on-the-job fatalities recorded in the U.S. in 2002, 43 percent were a result of transportation accidents with truck drivers recording the most fatalities with 808, followed by farm industry workers at 519.

As for the on-the-job crashes, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 49 percent involved collisions between vehicles, 53 percent occurred between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., 89 percent of the fatally injured workers were male, and the risk of fatality is greater for those aged 55 and older.

ASSE has developed a free brochure, "Important Driving Safety Tips." This brochure provides safe driving tips and facts such as how to safely share the road with commercial vehicles by allowing large amounts of space between your vehicle and a truck, since trucks and busses cannot stop as quickly as passenger vehicles. The brochure also instructs drivers how to correctly secure children in vehicles. It also offers advice about how to drive safely in roadway construction work zone areas. To order a copy of the free "Important Driving Safety Tips" brochure, contact ASSE at 847-699-2929 or [email protected]

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