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Back To Vidyya Drive Safely To Work Week:

11-15 September 2000

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), a nonprofit organization comprising corporate, state, and federal partners, is sponsoring the fourth annual Drive Safely Work Week during 11-15 September 2000. Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death in the United States for persons aged one to forty-four years and accounted for approximately 97,000 deaths among persons of all ages in 1997 (1). In 1998, approximately 41,000 persons died on U.S. highways and another 3.2 million suffered nonfatal injuries (2).

Highway fatalities have decreased substantially since 1966 (n=50,984), and the fatality rate per mile of travel has decreased more than threefold (from 5.5 in 1966 to 1.6 in 1998) (3). However, minimal changes have occurred in the numbers of fatalities and the fatality rate per mile from 1994 to 1998. Although most injuries and fatalities in 1998 were to vehicle occupants, pedestrians accounted for 5220 of the fatalities and 69,000 of the injuries (4). Motor-vehicle crashes also are the leading cause of occupational injury deaths, accounting for approximately 16,000 deaths in workers from 1980 to 1992, or 20% of all fatal workplace injuries over this period (5).

The national campaign to prevent motor-vehicle crashes includes a "toolkit" that contains information, posters, and suggested programs that employers or other groups can use to address five major traffic safety issues: safety belt use, aggressive driving, driver inattention, sharing the road with trucks, and impaired driving. The materials are not dated and may be used throughout the year.

Additional information about NETS and purchasing the toolkit (cost: $25) is available on the World-Wide Web, http://www.trafficsafety.org, or telephone, (202) 452-6005. Additional information about motor-vehicle--related injuries is available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov. Information about occupational transportation injuries is available from CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh.

References

  1. National Center for Health Statistics. Deaths: final data for 1997. National Vital Statistics Reports, vol. 47, no. 19. Hyattsville, Maryland: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, National Center for Health Statistics, 1999.
  2. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic safety facts, 1998: overview. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation, 1999 (HS 808 956).
  3. Martinez R. Statement of the honorable Ricardo Martinez, M.D., Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, before the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, U.S. House of Representatives, July 17, 1997. Available at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/nhtsa/announce/testimony/aggres2.html. Accessed August 2000.
  4. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic safety facts, 1998: pedestrians. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1999 (DOT HS 808 958).
  5. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Preventing worker injuries and deaths from traffic-related motor vehicle crashes. Cincinnati, Ohio: US Department of Health and Human Services, 1998. DHHS (NIOSH) publication no. 98-142.

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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