Linxup Blog

Texas Employers are Turning the Signal Green on Traffic Safety

By Lisa Robinson Back to Home on June 27, 2016
Texas Employers

At Our Driving Concern, we work with employers to promote safe driving behaviors among their employees, both on and off the job. Simply put, our work is good for people and good for business.

We steer employers on a course that enables them to combat the costly toll of crashes. We accomplish this by providing information and resources pertaining to traffic safety issues such as aggressive driving, distracted driving, impaired driving and passenger restraint usage

We talk to employers about saving lives, saving money and liability exposure regularly in a variety of ways, through our training programs, our ongoing webinar series and our e-newsletters. All of our tools are free and available to all Texas employers.

One of the best ways to measure the impact of our program on business owners is through the stories we are told by people with boots on the ground. Gabriela Corona Zavala says the Dallas Independent School District operates a fleet of 615 vehicles – everything from sedans to refrigerated trucks – and employs 1,300 drivers. Last spring, one driver from every department attended a train-the-trainer workshop put on by Our Driving Concern.

Then, an amazing thing happened.

“We encouraged our newly trained drivers to spread safe driving knowledge to their co-workers, families and communities,” Corona Zavala said.

I say it often: Get your employees involved. Encourage them to be a part of your safety program and outreach in your company. Everyone has something they can contribute. And, given a voice, they will speak up when they see someone ignoring policy or driving unsafely.

Houston-based AFC Transportation adopted a change in its safety culture after experiencing nine Department of Transportation recordable incidents in 2013. Safety Director Paul Gage reports AFC reduced that number to one in 2014 and two in 2015.

“We are pushing for zero recordable accidents in 2016,” he said.

Gage said AFC uses many resources provided by the National Safety Council, including Our Driving Concern safety talks and statistical data gleaned from Injury Facts.

Texas Medical Center facilities are spread across a campus of 31 institutions, each one working to promote the health and well-being of residents all over Harris County. Dr. Robert Robbins, president of the center, stood with Mayor Annise Parker when she launched her “Houston it can wait” anti-texting and driving campaign.

Safety & Emergency Preparedness Manager Fiona Burke says Texas Medical Center includes road safety talks during its “lunch and learn” sessions and that new hires receive training about the risks associated with using a cell phone while driving.

All three of these organizations – Dallas ISD, AFC Transportation and Texas Medical Center – have more in common than their commitment to traffic safety. All three recently were cited for their accomplishments in the 2016 Our Driving Concern Texas Employer Traffic Safety Awards program.

“Texas is a leader among states in many areas, but sadly it has the highest rate of fatal car crashes,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “These employers are working to protect their employees and reverse this trend. We are thrilled to recognize their work.”

A bonus for business is this: Reducing crash incidents saves money and boosts profit margins. Research indicates the average workplace motor vehicle crash costs more than $24,000; if an employee is injured, that cost skyrockets to more than $125,000.

Employers can recoup losses by addressing traffic safety concerns. Really, the question is, can you afford not to? Positive decreases negative. At Our Driving Concern, we are here to help.

Lisa Robinson

Lisa Robinson, CFLE, is the National Safety Council manager of the Our Driving Concern Texas Employer Traffic Safety Program. Contact her by phone (512) 466-7383 or email Lisa Robinson.