Archive for December, 2019

Happy New Year from the TIRES team!

 

If 20/20 means good vision, then why not envision 2020 as the year that sees your workplace safety program become better than ever? Ring it in by making a resolution to revitalize your safety program by setting your sights high. Reflect on past and present challenges to see where your safety program needs improvement, then set new goals that bring it to the next level.

That said, everyone knows how New Year’s resolutions go: we set lofty goals and soon lose interest in them, putting them aside for later, if ever. But being resolved to improve your safety program is different because your employees depend on it. It requires patience and commitment, not giving up on your vision when you don’t see fast results. Here are a few tips to help make your resolution stick:

  • Set a few small goals. Having big goals or too many can be hard to implement, start with a few smaller ones that are attainable.
  • Plan ahead for success. Involve your entire workforce. Ask for information on how to improve, line up resources, and schedule deadlines in preparation to achieve your mutual goal of a safer company.
  • Anticipate problems and learn from mistakes. Even the best-made plans run into unexpected problems. When things go wrong, don’t despair, take it as a lesson to improve your program.
  • Celebrate success. A safety program’s success requires full employee participation, so celebrate achievements together to reward and motivate teamwork. Plan company and family fun days, gifts and giveaways, barbecues or breakfasts to show your appreciation.

Whatever your goals and plans are for the New Year, we’ll cheer you on in getting them accomplished. Check our website for safety training material like posters, true stories, and tip sheets. Feel free to print and use them around your workplace. Our main goal is to see everyone return home safe to their loved ones. Make 2020 injury free!

 

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Have a Safe Holiday Season, Watch Out for Drunk Drivers

Image of state patrol silihoutte with text “ Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over”Drunk driving continues to be a major cause of severe traffic collisions in the United States. It impairs a driver’s hand-eye coordination, reaction time, judgement, vision, and situational awareness. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that drunk-driving crashes kill almost 30 people each day. In 2017, drunk driving caused 29 percent of all traffic fatalities, including 220 children under the age of 14. In Washington State, it accounted for 31 percent of 563 fatalities in the same year. The Washington State Patrol’s Chief John Batiste recently stated, “In the past 10 years, the Washington State Patrol has averaged almost 15,000 DUI arrests each year and responds annually to over 2,100 collisions where DUI is involved. On average, 250 people die on our state’s highways each year because of impaired driving.”

The problem is even more prevalent during the holiday season. From 2013-2017, drunk driving killed 4,100 people across the land during the holidays, with around 300 fatalities between Christmas and New Year’s Day. For truck drivers, the holidays are a time of increased risk to be involved in an alcohol related crash. However, the risks mainly come from other motorists, as national data consistently shows truck drivers to be the least impaired drivers on the road. Over the decades, stricter safety regulations and better training have greatly reduced drunk driving among truck drivers. According to the NHTSA, four percent of large truck drivers killed in 2017 had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) at or above 0.08 percent, the legal level of impairment in the United States, showing a 13 percent decline since 1982. For comparison, 29 percent of passenger vehicle drivers killed had BACs at or above 0.08 percent. Data show other significant patterns in fatal drunk-driving crashes:

  • 55 percent occurred in urban areas, and 45 percent in rural areas.
  • 90 percent occurred in clear/cloudy conditions, 7 percent in rainy conditions, and 3 percent in other conditions.
  • 70 percent occurred in the dark, 26 percent in daylight, 3 percent in dusk, and 1 percent in dawn.
  • 87 percent occurred on non-interstate roads, and 13 percent on interstate roads.
  • 15 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes during the week were alcohol impaired, compared to 28 percent on weekends.

As law enforcement agencies across the nation step up holiday drunk-driving patrols, including the Washington State Patrol, truck drivers can help spot and report drunk drivers too. Your vigilance on the road can help keep roadways safe for everyone. Here are ten signs that a motorist near you may be drunk or high:

  • Tailgating, weaving, swerving, or driving into opposing traffic.
  • Straddling the center lane marker.
  • Almost striking an object, curb, or vehicle.
  • Driving with headlights off at night.
  • Improper signaling.
  • Turning abruptly or illegally.
  • Slow response to traffic signals.
  • Quick acceleration or deceleration.
  • Stopping without cause or erratic braking.
  • Driving slower than 10 mph below the speed limit.

Here’s what you should do when you see a drunk driver:

  • Stay as far away as possible from the other vehicle. Don’t try to pass it or get the driver’s attention.
  • Try to get the vehicle’s license plate number and make, model, color, etc. Do not risk your own safety while trying to get this information.
  • Call 911. Pull over safely before making the call. Describe the vehicle and give its exact location, including the name of the road or cross streets and its direction of travel. Give your reasons for suspecting why the driver may be impaired.

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