Original content from NETS (Network of Employers for Traffic Safety)
This year’s Drive Safely Work Week campaign toolkit has resources to address health and wellness issues that apply to drivers of all ages, but is particularly relevant for an aging workforce.
Download the free employer toolkit at trafficsafety.org
Older workers who drive as part of their job have significantly higher traffic death rates than younger workers, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
“Driving safety is really a shared responsibility between employers and workers,” said lead researcher Stephanie Pratt in an interview with HealthDay. Dr. Pratt is the coordinator of the Center for Motor Vehicle Safety at the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and a federal liaison to the NETS Board of Directors.
According to the CDC report, more than 11,500 workers aged 18 and over died while driving for work between 2003 and 2010. Among these deaths, 26.9 percent were those aged 55 and older.
“The risk is not restricted to workers employed in what we think of as typical transportation occupations, like a truck driver or delivery driver,” Pratt said when speaking to HealthDay. “The risk cuts across all industries and occupations.”
The CDC report states the ability to drive is affected by physical and cognitive changes associated with normal aging: declines in visual acuity, skill in processing complex visual information, reaction time, executive functioning, and contrast and glare sensitivity. These factors might be addressed by employers through injury prevention and wellness programs, and by workers through regular health examinations and screenings.
This year’s Drive Safely Work Week campaign toolkit has resources to address health and wellness issues that apply to drivers of all ages, but is particularly relevant for an aging workforce. The free employer toolkit includes information and activities related to vision screening, vehicle ergonomics, improving driver range of motion and more.
NETS urges employers to use the Drive Safely Work Week materials to address what the CDC projects to be an issue that will continue to grow as workers aged 55 and older are expected to comprise more than 25% of the workforce in 2020 compared to less than 12% in 1990. Drive Safely Work Week is Oct. 7-11 but materials are not dated and may be used throughout the year.