A simple message to the nation's employers:
In advance of Drive Safely Work Week 2010,
please, help us fight against distracted driving.
I have been saying since my first day on the job that safety is my number one priority; it is the Department of Transportation's number one priority. And by now everyone knows that one of the ways I've been working to increase road safety is my rampage against distracted driving.
In 2008, nearly 6,000 people in America died in crashes involving a distracted driver. It is a serious, life-threatening epidemic, and DOT cannot fight it alone.
We've been fortunate to have state legislatures and governors, private advocacy organizations, and individual citizens on our side throughout this campaign. One of the most important sources of support has been private employers. Businesses across the US have begun to adopt policies against distracted driving.
But many employers have not yet taken this crucial step to protect themselves and their staff. That's why, as Drive Safely Work Week (October 4-8) approaches, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) has prepared a free, web-based toolkit to help employers take the crucial next step.
As NETS Chairman, Bill Windsor said:
"Whether it's reinforcing or strengthening an existing cell phone policy, preparing employees for the launch of a new policy, or simply raising awareness of the issue through employee education, the Drive Safely Work Week campaign provides meaningful tools and activities to help employers do something to curb distracted driving."
Look, a distracted driver is four times more likely to be involved in a crash than a focused driver. A texting driver 20 is times more likely to crash. Whether drivers or victims, we're talking about your employees, and you can do something to help keep them safe.
If you are an employee, you can join us, too. Talk to your employer, share the NETS website, and get the ball rolling.
And for both employers and employees, if you already have a policy in your workplace or plan to create one, we want to know. Please contact us at email@example.com, and we'll make sure your company gets a shout-out at our Distracted Driving Summit on September 21.
Every death, every injury caused by driver distraction is preventable. Please help us make our roads safer for everyone.