December is USPS Motor Vehicle Safety Month

motor_vehicle_safety_monthSomeone dies in a motor vehicle crash every twelve minutes, an injury occurs every ten seconds, and a crash occurs every five seconds in the United States, according to the National Safety Council (2014).

Many of these incidents occur during the workday or during the commute to and from work. When a Postal Service™ employee is involved in an accident, either on or off the job, the USPS® bears the cost of these accidents either directly or indirectly. Whether you manage a fleet of vehicles and drivers, oversee a mobile sales force, or drive yourself, focusing on the driver safety program can greatly reduce the risks associated with a motor vehicle accident and aid the USPS in fulfilling our mission.

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death and injury for all ages. Crashes on and off the job have far-reaching financial and psychological effects on employees, their coworkers and families, and their employers.

To bring attention to driving safety, the USPS is designating December as “Motor Vehicle Safety Month.” Historically, December has been the month when we see increased accident activity. Weather, temporary holiday workers, inexperienced workers, increased workloads, and the rush of the holiday season all contribute to this increase.

Focusing on motor vehicle safety:

  • Saves lives and reduces the risk of life-altering injuries.
  • Protects our human and financial resources.
  • Guards against potential liabilities associated with crashes involving employees driving on company business.

The goal of the program is to keep our drivers, and those with whom they share the road, safe. By changing attitudes about driving, improving behavior, and increasing skills, we build and sustain a culture where everyone understands that “Safety Depends on Me.”

In reviewing our accident data, we can easily identify some basic safe driving practices that can be reinforced to avoid tragedy. As an example, in 2015, the USPS reported nearly 27,000 motor vehicle accidents. Nearly half of these were experienced by our newer employees. We can reduce our motor vehicle accidents with training and by consistently messaging the importance of these basic safe driving practices. By doing so, we not only reduce our accident counts, but ensure that our employees feel prepared for their jobs and see a future with the USPS. Employees are our most valuable assets. Workplace driver safety programs not only make good business sense but also are a good employee relations tool, demonstrating that the USPS cares about our employees.

The data tells us that not only are our newer drivers at risk but that we need to address things like roll away/run away accidents, distracted driving, collisions with stationary objects, and collisions with other vehicles.

During the month of December, you will receive stand up talks focused on these topics. For additional related resources:

Always Remember — Safety Depends on Me

The USPS has access to all of the data that you need to focus your efforts more efficiently. You should work with your human resources manager, safety manager, injury compensation manager, and finance and safety committees to identify activities that will help reduce motor vehicle accidents.

— Safety and Health,
Employee Resource Management, 12-10-15

Source: Postal Bulletin – 22430

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