May 2021

Summaries of timely road safety news, events, and alerts
Message from NETS' Executive Director, Joe McKillips
Summer is almost officially upon us here in the U.S. and I hope everyone is planning for some well-deserved rest and relaxation in the midst of your efforts to help make our roads safer. However, as many of you know, the summer months have historically marked an uptick in road crashes of all types and unfortunately the months ahead are likely to present challenges for many.  
Unique and increased road safety risks may also be on the horizon due to the recently relaxed COVID-19 restrictions in many places around the world which is expected to generate an increase in traffic congestion. Fortunately, NETS Board Member Liberty Mutual has been hard at work seeking ways to address and minimize the impact in a post-COVID environment and has provided an insightful guest article below which I am certain will resonate with many. 

As a final note, NETS recently officially launched registration for both our 2021 NETS Annual Strength IN Numbers ® Benchmark Conference as well as our Latin America (LATAM) Regional Road Safety Conference. Both events are sure to generate excellent engagement and will provide an opportunity for all attendees to share road safety case studies and learn about new research and emerging issues. Assembly of conference keynote and plenary speakers is well under way with additional details and information to be announced soon.

For those who attended our conference in the past I hope to see you again this fall, and for those yet to join our proceedings I look forward to seeing you as well!  

Thanks again to all for your dedication to road safety and I wish everyone continued success!
A Return to (New) Normal: An Opportunity to Reduce Driving Risk 

Michael Sample
Robert More
Liberty Mutual – Risk Control Services

The COVID-19 global pandemic has had far reaching impacts across our lives from limited interactions with loved ones, to working from home full time, to making sure you have a mask with you on your trip to the store. In some areas of the world, there are positive signs that some sense of normalcy might return, while other areas continue to experience the impact of this virus. And while driver and fleet safety might not be the first thing to come to your mind as being impacted by the pandemic, it certainly has been. Over the last year and a half we’ve seen drivers spending less time behind the wheel, traveling shorter distances and driving on roadways with dramatically fewer vehicles. Whether your fleet has travelled significantly fewer miles over the last year due to the pandemic or your fleet continued to operate throughout the pandemic providing essential services, now is as a good time as any to take an objective view of your vehicle use and risk mitigating measures. Are your operations and employees ready for using their vehicles in an efficient and safe capacity? This article will address methods to get our global employees and vehicles back on the roads safely, and our opportunity to create a new focus on safe driving behaviors.
Crash trends:
Crash data is preliminary at this time, but a study published in Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives 7 (2020) 100186 using a globally released phone app to measure driving behaviors showed reduced traffic volumes due to Covid-19 lockdowns. Less vehicle density led to a slight increase in speeds by 6–11%, but more importantly led to more frequent harsh acceleration and harsh braking events (up to 12% increase) as well as increased mobile phone use (up to 42% increase) during March and April 2020.

U.S Department of Transportation (DOT) data released in a special report in January 2021 documented the decrease in crash frequency yet recorded an increase in crash fatalities. It also documented an increase in alcohol prevalence in serious crashes. The study indicates that in the first half of 2020, NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) estimated that the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled had risen year-over-year, from a rate of 1.06 in 2019 to a projected rate of 1.25 in 2020 (NCSA, 2020). In that report, NCSA also reported a reduction in vehicle miles traveled of 264.2 billion miles – about a 16.6% decrease – in the first 6 months of 2020.
Role of the Fleet Manager:
We are presented with a unique moment when we can re-set expectations for safe driving behaviors and how vehicles are used by all personnel within our organizations. The following are items worth considering:
  • Conduct a gap analysis on vehicle use and the effectiveness of current controls.
  • All vehicles need to be inspected and maintained for road worthiness.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of measures to protect your organization from pass-through crash claims associated with business-related employee personal vehicle usage.
  • Review contracts for all haulers and freight brokers to shield your organization from high-severity crash claims.
  • Review regulated fleet requirements as year-long waivers for driver CDL and medical card expiration dates are set to expire.
  • Global demand and supply issues of computer chips will impact new vehicle purchasing, so consider methods to ensure longer safe tenure for your current fleet. 
  • Prepare for future capital expenditures by studying the latest in OEM Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) technology to prevent or reduce the severity of crashes. Consider the benefit of Telematics or dash-cams for claim defense and to coach safe driving behaviors. 

As we start to drive more regularly, take the opportunity to re-set safe driving expectations:
  • Openly communicate how to identify and ditch bad habits
  • Create new expectations of safe driving habits
  • Eliminate distractions behind the wheel:
  • Take back control from mobile phones and tablets by turning off notifications
  • Allow use when in a safe parked position
  • Prohibit attending conference calls when actively driving
  • Eliminate tailgating and increase your following distance/time to 4-6 seconds
  • Expand your look ahead capacity to really observe what is happening 10 seconds down the road
  • Use turn signals for 6-8 seconds to give fellow drivers time to receive your message
  • Increase focus on pedestrians, bicyclists, and scooter riders
  • Adjust your mirrors to reduce the blind spots to eliminate surprises from traffic behind and passing you
  • Introduce the principle of stress reduction when behind the wheel as an element of employee health initiatives. Leave 5-minutes early, reinforce that driving is not a competitive sport on public roads, focus on arriving safely as a #1 priority
Role of the Driver:
Drivers have an opportunity to really observe their own driving habits and identify what causes them stress and triggers poor decision making. This takes encouragement from employers, family, and friends to really take hold as a safe lifestyle decision.  
  • Ask yourself “what do I gain if I make this traffic maneuver?” Sometimes the best decision is to momentarily ease off the fuel and stay in your current lane. Work to identify and eliminate your bad driving behaviors.   
  • Be the predictable driver. Be the patient driver.
  • Reacquaint yourself with your travel routes as cities have used the past year to install bike lanes and restructure their road configurations.
  • Drivers need to be aware of pedestrians and bicyclists now more than ever. Drivers should follow good practices such as establishing eye contact with these individuals. Don’t assume they see you. Assume individuals will jaywalk and prepare accordingly.  
As we strive to get back to our new normal, accept the challenge to eliminate unaddressed poor driving behaviors and set new expectations for all drivers.
Additional Resources:
Data Sources:
US Data: Study Source, Traffic Safety Facts Research Note DOT HS 813 069 Office of Behavioral Safety Research January 2021.
NETS 2021
Strength IN Numbers Benchmark and
LATAM Regional Satellite Conferences

Announcing two great conferences, now more accessible to everyone in a virtual environment!

*Agenda and Speaker Details Coming Soon*
NETS 2nd Latin America (LATAM) Regional Road Safety conference represents a valuable opportunity to learn about the variety of road safety initiatives and challenges specific to the LATAM region.
Join us VIRTUALLY to share and learn about best practices and solutions across industries with other fleet safety managers who face similar challenges.
NETS annual STRENGTH IN NUMBERS® Benchmark Conference convenes each year to bring together Global, Corporate, Government, and Non-profit employers. Conference participants include NETS member companies from diverse industries, representing a collective global fleet of more than half-a-million vehicles, ~80% passenger vehicles, that travel nearly 11 billion miles annually.
NETS Member Promotion
Current NETS member companies are encouraged to invite non-members to attend either conference. If the non-member company joins NETS, BOTH companies will receive ONE complimentary conference registration for either conference! 
Multiple Registrant Promotion
Organizations with 4 registered participants will receive complimentary registration for all additional attendees. Encourage your colleagues to attend!
For more information about NETS membership, please visit our membership page: Membership Information – Network of Employers for Traffic Safety
Contact Susan Gillies, NETS Marketing and Operations Director, for details.
NETS is proud to partner with the following PLATINUM Fleet Safety Sponsors:

eDrivingSM helps organizations to reduce collisions, injuries, license violations and total cost of fleet ownership through a patented digital driver risk management program.
Mentor by eDriving is a smartphone-based solution that collects and analyzes driver behaviors most predictive of crash risk and helps remediate risky behavior by providing engaging, interactive micro-training modules delivered directly to the driver in the smartphone app. As part of a broader risk management platform, Virtual Risk Manager®, eDriving provides organizations with everything they need to establish safety as a strategic imperative, and support drivers and managers as they strive to create a crash-free culture®.
eDriving is the digital driver risk management partner of choice for many of the world’s largest organizations, supporting over 1,000,000 drivers in 96 countries. Over the past 25 years, eDriving’s research-validated programs have been recognized with over 100 awards around the world.

Mobile device distractions put employees in danger and companies at risk. So why would anyone settle for safety measures that simply report what went wrong, or only work when people remember to turn them on? TRUCE Software automatically suspends distracting mobile apps and functions depending on what your employee is doing, where they are working or even the workgroup they are part of. You define the policy and TRUCE ensures compliance when and where it’s needed. Supporting more than 100,000 subscribers and some of the largest brands worldwide, our patented technology is making workplaces everywhere safer.
Learn about all of NETS Fleet Safety Sponsors
100 Deadliest Days of Summer for Teen Drivers

Another summer is upon us and as we make plans for vacations and summer fun, we would like to join our We Save Lives' partners in reminding you that we are entering the "100 Deadliest Days of Summer."

Read more
Five Safety Tips for Drivers this Memorial Day Weekend

One of the most dangerous driving weekends of the year is approaching. The National Safety Council estimates 415 people may die on the roads during the upcoming Memorial Day holiday. Following a year with increased motor vehicle...

Read more
Bad Year For Walkers: Pedestrian Deaths Surged During COVID

The safety trends for people walking on U.S. roads are not good. Both the total number of deaths and the rate of death based on miles driven soared in 2020.

Read more
90% of Drivers Used Their Phone Behind the Wheel in 2020

If the last year proved anything, it displayed our need and ability as a society to adapt our behaviors for the benefit of the greater good.Imagine what would happen if we took the same approach and focused on our responsibility to each other...

Read more
Fleet Safety is the Gateway to Achieving Other Fleet Goals

Three challenges consistently high on the list of objectives for many fleet managers are fleet safety, fuel management, and sustainability. The good news is that all three of these challenges are interrelated and represent an excellent...

Read more
Fatigue Trial Test a Wake-up to Drowsy Drivers

The Victorian Government has completed an Australian-first, revolutionary new technology trial to detect drowsy drivers. Excessively fatigued drivers and found drivers with only three hours sleep are ten times more likely to be involved in a crash.

Read more
Allergy Meds Can Pose Driving Hazard, FDA Says

Allergy medications may help you get through the spring and summer months, but it's important to know that the drugs could affect your ability to drive, the Food and Drug Administration is reminding...

Read more
Think the Pandemic Made You Forget How to Drive?

On a Sunday afternoon in early May, Robert Johnson backed out of his garage, preparing to visit his company's office - a place he hasn't driven to regularly since before the coronavirus pandemic. His wife screamed. Johnson slammed on the brakes....

Read more
Alphabet's Waymo Warns Against "Self-Driving" Description

Yesterday's science fiction is a real transportation option today for a growing segment of the population. I'm referring specifically to autonomously driven vehicles (ADV), which are picking up passengers without anyone in the driver's seat in...

Read more
Electric Vehicle Shopping Hits New Heights

Consumer shopping for electrified and fuel-cell vehicles, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles (EVs), hit new heights in the first quarter of 2021 according to a new report from Kelley Blue Book. In addition, a record...

Read more
22 Questions to Answer Before Installing EV Charging Depots

Every fleet is unique, and therefore every fleet looking to electrify will have unique charging needs. In fact, planning for charging infrastructure is more complicated than most fleet operators think. "Fleets making the switch to electric will...

Read more
Motorcycle Safety

Riding a motorcycle is inherently riskier than driving a car. Motorcycles are less stable than passenger vehicles during maneuvers such as emergency braking and swerving and are less visible on the road. When motorcyclists crash, they lack the...

Read more
States Ramp Up Traffic Safety Initiatives Ahead of Summer

As traffic volumes rise, State Highway Safety Offices increase efforts to protect road users. Traffic is expected to come roaring back this year after a significant drop-off in 2020 due to the pandemic. Approximately 34 million Americans are...

Read more
5th Annual Secure Your Load Day Campaign: June 6th, 2021
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2019 there were 739 deaths, 17,367 injuries and 89,915 property damage crashes caused by unsecured loads and road debris. The annual Secure Your Load Day will take place in honor of those whose lives have been impacted or taken by unsecured loads and road debris and in an effort to make load-securing a standard practice. Access Campaign Materials and Share the Message: Secure Your Load
Road Deaths and Injuries Shatter Lives

Lower Speeds and Serious Post-Crash Response. Nearly 13 years ago, in November 2008, I wrote an article with an almost identical title for the first edition of the UNECE Transport Review , in which I mentioned that in 1896, a pedestrian became...

Read more
Germany Aims to Have Self-driving Vehicles on Roads by 2022

Germany's lower house has passed a bill that would allow for self-driving cars to hit the roads early next year, although progress is set to be relatively slow. Lawmakers have passed legislation that will allow for automated driving under certain ...

Read more
EU and India Launch Partnership on Sustainable Connectivity

Signed during the EU-India Leaders' Meeting in Porto, the EU-India Connectivity Partnership covers cooperation in the digital, energy, transport, and people-to-people sectors. It is fundamentally rooted in support for the twin digital and green...

Read more
Global Fleet Champions Awards: Deadline June 11

The Global Fleet Champions Awards celebrate best practice in fleets working towards safe and healthy mobility anywhere in the world. This includes in low- and middle-income nations where occupational road risk management is evolving slowly, and...

Read more
Free and Low-cost Global Fleet Safety Webinars

Upcoming topics include "Journey Scheduling and Routing and the Impact on Driver Behaviour"; "Tackling Drug Driving"; and "Virtual Roundtable: Safe Vehicles".

Read more
Impact of Vehicle Technologies and Automation on Users

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety will resume the Forum on Impact of Vehicle Technologies and Automation on Users in 2021. Due to uncertainties related to the COVID pandemic, the Forum will be a virtual event with the following details...

Read more
July is National
Theft Prevention Month
Motor vehicles are the primary mode of transportation for most of us, and often, an indispensable part of our lives. But what would happen if yours suddenly disappeared? Vehicle theft is a very expensive crime, with the cost of stolen vehicles pegged at more than $5.9 billion.
  • There were 721,885 motor vehicles stolen in 2019.
  • Only 56.1% of all stolen motor vehicles were recovered.
  • Of all motor vehicles stolen, 74.5% were passenger vehicles.

For safety tools to educate your community on the dangers of vehicle theft and how to keep themselves safe, go to: Vehicle Theft Prevention
4th of July: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
We all love to celebrate the 4th of July with family, friends, food, and fireworks. Yet, all too often the festivities turn tragic on our nation's roads. This American holiday is also one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to impaired-driving crashes.

For awareness materials from NHTSA’s Traffic Safety Marketing, go to: 4th of July | Traffic Safety Marketing
Do you have a particularly successful road safety example to share? NETS Members are encouraged to share best practices, ask questions or contribute their expertise to the NETS Road Safety Leaders Forum, an online discussion forum exclusively for NETS Members and Sponsors. Not yet a member? Check out the benefits at
Note from the editor:
All links to stories have been tested and are active 24 hours prior to distribution; however, links may become inactive over time at the discretion of the publication source.
About NETSWork®
NETSWork is published electronically each month by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety, Susan Gillies, editor, and Joe McKillips, Executive Director.
Network of Employers for Traffic Safety
344 Maple Ave. West #357
Vienna, VA 22180