We have now entered the month of August–officially designated the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” month of the year. We don’t need to emphasize the effect that alcohol has had on our transportation system.
The statistics alone demonstrate the damage it can bring. In the United States, almost 30 people die every day due to a driver impaired by alcohol. Roughly translated, that makes for one alcohol-related fatality every 50 minutes. Crashes involving a drunk driver account for over a quarter of all accidents in the U.S. And in 2016, 17% of all traffic accidents with child fatalities were caused by a drunk driver.
The numbers are staggering and sobering. But what can we do to make the highway a safer place for all involved motorists? What investments can we make to ensure the safety of those maintaining and traveling the highway?
First, prevent drinking on the clock. It’s too common for workers to enjoy a drink while on break–often with disastrous results. Institute and enforce workplace standards eliminating consumption of alcohol on the clock. If possible, designate offsite activities where employees can enjoy alcohol away from the jobsite.
Second, and more importantly, build a culture of trust. Loneliness, harassment, ineffective leadership and poor working conditions are just a few of the factors leading to excessive alcohol use. Detect and address these root causes in your workplace. Foster relationships of trust among your employees, and strive to give them the resources they need to be successful.
For those of us committed to making our country’s infrastructure safer for everyone, it is up to us to prevent as many alcohol-related accidents as we possibly can. The safety of people is worth whatever investment we make to secure it. Let’s do what we can to prevent further accidents stemming from alcohol.