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Work-Related Car Accidents in Massachusetts a Top Cause of Death for Workers

October 3rd through the 7th has been dubbed “Drive Safely Work Week (DSWW) 2011.” This year’s campaign theme is “Focus 360°: Getting there safely is everyone’s business.” The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) has joined forces with the U.S. Department of Transportation to help reduce the risks of work-related car accidents in Massachusetts and elsewhere.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, work-related car accidents are the number one cause of on-the-job work fatalities. In 2010, Massachusetts experienced nearly 100 work-related car accident fatalities. These accidents took more lives than those involved in violent acts, assaults, falls, fires, explosions or any other type of work-related accidents.

This campaign involves all employees whose job involves traveling. This applies to cyclists, drivers and passengers across the country. There are things that each of us can do to prevent one of these accidents. Our Boston car accident attorneys ask that everyone do their part to set a good example for others. All too often, we understand and recognize the importance of safe driving habits but fail to actively practice them.

Employers are urged to complete one of the following:

-Create a cell phone policy for your workplace. Stick to this plan and be sure to enforce it among workers.

-If you already have a cell phone policy kit established at your company, you’re urged to review the risks and consequences associated with distracted driving-related accidents. Consider sharing tips and creating activities to help enforce the current policy.

-For those who don’t want to create or enact a policy, you’re still urged to discuss the facts about distracted driving with your workers.

According to statistics from last year’s campaign, approximately 5,000 organizations participated in the week-long event. Nearly 90 percent of these organizations currently have some kind of cell phone policy kit within their companies.

“Employers have the potential to reach up to one-half of the nation’s population, and their support in our fight to stop distracted driving is crucial,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Distracted driving facts, provided by NETS:

-There are three types of distractions; visual, manual and cognitive.

-Distracted driving takes a driver’s physical and mental attention from the most important task at hand — driving.

-There were nearly 5,500 people killed due to distracted driving-related car accidents on U.S. roadways in 2009. Another 448,000 people were injured in these kinds of accidents.

-Researchers estimate that about a fourth of all traffic accidents are caused by a cell phone-using driver.

-Texting drivers take their eyes off the road roughly 400 percent more than drivers who do not text at the wheel.

-Drivers who use a cell phone behind the wheel reduce their amount of brain activity by nearly 40 percent.

-The more texts that are sent in the U.S., the more fatal car accidents we see. For every one million texts that are sent, we see a 75 percent increase in fatal distraction-related car accidents.

Listed below is each distracting behavior and your crash risk increase:

-Texting/23 times
-Reaching for a moving object/9 times
-Dialing a cell phone/6 times
-Driving drowsy/4 times
-Looking at an external object/3.7 times
-Reading/3.4 times
-Talking on a cell phone/4 times
-Applying makeup/3 times
If you or someone you love has been involved in a Boston car or trucking accident in Massachusetts with a distracted driver, contact Boston Injury Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 877-617-5333.

More Blog Entries:

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Distracted Trucker Heading to Boston Slams into Amtrak Train Causing Fiery Accident
September 27, 2011