Remind workers to look out for pedestrians when entering school zones

Now that school has started, businesses may want to remind their workers to remain vigilant when looking out for pedestrians as they make deliveries, transport goods or engage in other activities behind the wheel. Employers may want to review road safety regulations and traffic laws when it comes to crosswalks or other areas where children might be present or crossing the street. 

Traffic crashes led to the deaths of 4,300 pedestrians and caused injuries for 70,000 people in 2010 in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC). Almost 1 in 5 children who were killed in 2010 were between 5 to 9 years old.

A study published in the journal Injury Prevention on motor vehicle collisions that included pedestrians younger than 18 years old in Canada found fatal car accidents occurred in clusters around school zones. The study, which is based on data from 2,717 motor vehicles collisions between 2000 and 2005, indicated younger children may be especially vulnerable to accidents, according to researchers at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. The study concluded that children ages 5 to 9 years old were the most likely to be hit when they traveled to education institutions during the school year.

Safety tips for occupational driving
To prevent accidents around school zones, employers may want to review traffic regulations in relation to school zones, such as the maximum speed limit for roads around schools. Companies may go over best practices for motor vehicle safety with employees to ensure workers understand the hazards of distracted driving or other factors that may result in car accidents.

In Arizona, drivers are required to drive 15 mph in school zones. Workers may want to remember school zones are no passing zones. If drivers fail to follow the speed limit, they may be subject to double the fines if they are in the presence of signs that note children are crossing.

U.S. employers spend $60 billion each year due to expenses, including healthcare costs, workers compensation and insurance, stemming from motor vehicle crashes, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Since distracted driving may endanger worker safety, employers may want to ensure drivers do not change radio stations or talk on the phone while driving.

Another factor in safety driving is encouraging employees to be well-rested and have an adequate amount of sleep before stepping into their vehicles. Enough sleep is crucial to make sure workers are alert when driving and can effectively pay attention to the road and any pedestrians who may need to cross.

Employers also may want to encourage workers to wear their seat belts or have them participate in workplace driver safety programs, according to OSHA.

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