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The National Academies

BTSCRP BTS-01 [Active]

Guidance for Employer-Based Behavioral Traffic Safety Programs for Drivers in the Workplace

  Project Data
Funds: $350,000
Staff Responsibility: Richard Retting
Research Agency: Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Principal Investigator: Eva Shipp
Effective Date: 12/10/2018
Completion Date: 3/31/2022
Comments: Research completed

BACKGROUND
 
Workers may drive motor vehicles as their main jobs or as incidental to their main jobs, but in either case, traffic crashes are the leading cause of workplace fatalities. In 2016, there were 37,461 fatalities on roadways in the United States (NHTSA, February 2018). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of annual workplace fatalities rose for the third consecutive year in 2016. The most common fatal events resulted from work transportation incidents, which represented 40% of workplace fatalities in 2016. On-the-job vehicle crashes have devastating effects on workers and their families, communities, and businesses. In 2013, motor vehicle crashes cost U.S. employers $25 billion—$671,000 per death and $65,000 per nonfatal injury (https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/motor-vehicle-safety.html).
 
While engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency response efforts have significantly reduced traffic-related fatalities in recent decades, road user behavior remains the most common risk factor associated with traffic crashes. Many organizations implement wellness programs in the workplace to encourage healthy behaviors such as smoking cessation, increased physical activities, healthy eating, and managing chronic conditions in order to improve worker health, lower insurance rates, and employee time off work for sickness and injuries. Some organizations have implemented behavioral change programs aimed specifically at increased employee seatbelt use and other safe driving practices.  Research is needed to assess the success of such programs and determine what elements of these programs, and other behavioral change programs have the greatest likelihood of changing driver behavior and safety culture in the workplace.
 
OBJECTIVE
 
The objective of this research is to (1) document the components of existing U.S. and international employer-based behavioral traffic safety programs (e.g., traffic safety citizenship, safety culture and climate, incentives) for workers who operate motor vehicles for any part of their job duties; (2) use behavioral change theory to identify the essential components of the programs; (3) identify and describe measures of program effectiveness; and (4) develop guidance that incorporates the essential components necessary to plan, implement, and evaluate an employer-based behavioral traffic safety program. 
 
 
STATUS: Research underway.

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