Project RoadSafe Newsletter
Project RoadSafe Newsletter

Project RoadSafe Newsletter

The Associated General Contractors of Vermont

PO Box 750, 1 Graves Street

Montpelier, VT 05601

Tel: (802) 223-2374

FAX: (802) 223-1809



August 15, 2017

Vermont Highway


2017 To Date: 40

2016 At this time: 38

2015 At this time: 28

2014 At this time: 26

Source: Vermont AOT


Project RoadSafe is funded 

by a grant from


Governor’s Highway Safety

Drive Time is No Time for Tipsy Driving


A Pledge to End  

Distracted  Driving

I pledge to:

 * Protect lives by never texting or talking on the phone while driving.

* Be a good passenger and speak out if the driver in my car is


* Encourage my friends and family to drive phone-free.


A preventable collision is one in which the driver fails to do everything

reasonable to avoid it.







 Studies show that 40% to 50% of traffic crash fatalities could have been prevented
by wearing seat belts. Aren’t you glad you use yours?


Follow The Leader: Not

   Not sure of the route? Need to get there? Not to worry – a friend will lead the way – just follow the leader.

   While it sounds simple enough, a recent study shows the driver following the leader makes poor driving decisions to keep up with the
leader, like driving faster, making more erratic turns and following to close to the car in front.

   According to the study, the fear of losing the lead car and becoming lost plays heavily in poor driving decisions.

   The study observed drivers more likely to cut in front of a pedestrian crossing a road and running red traffic lights – just to say

   The advice in this situation is to know the address of the destination and use a navigation device to get you there – safely.



The Distraction Risk Factor

   If you can’t walk and text (have
you seen the videos that have gone viral?
), what makes you think you can drive and carry on a phone conversation?

   Driving is a thinking task. Likewise, talking on the phone is a thinking task. Research shows the human brain
cannot handle two thinking tasks at the same time. Talking on the phone while driving forces your brain to switch between tasks, which slows reaction time.

   There is a difference between talking with a passenger and talking on a cell phone. Passengers can act as co-pilots
and provide an extra layer of safety by alerting drivers to potential hazards. People on the other end of a phone call can’t see what’s going on and can’t call attention to changes in your driving environment.

   In a National Safety Council driver safety public opinion poll, two-thirds of drivers said they have felt unsafe
because of another driver’s distraction, but just 25% felt their own distractions put themselves or others at risk.

   Being a risky driver is not worth the risk . . . think about it…



US Route 7: A Deadly Highway

   According to Geotab, a telematics provider, US Route 7, which winds its way from the Massachusetts state line at Pownal to Highgate Springs at the Canadian border,
is one of the most dangerous highways in the U.S.

   Geotab came up with a report ranking the nation’s most dangerous as well as safest highways using federal highway safety data. They looked at the annual number
of road fatalities and fatal crashes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and adjusted for the average daily traffic counts provided by the Federal Highway Administration.

   According to Geotab, U.S. Route 7, which travels 173 miles through five Vermont counties is an undivided highway with two or four lanes, has recorded 46 crashes,
causing 53 roadway deaths over the past decade.

   Geotab Inc. is a privately held company that specializes in global positioning systems for fleet management and vehicle tracking. The company
develops, manufactures and supplies GPS fleet management systems known as telematics.



Talk with me about
defensive driving: contact 

Norman James (


Director of AGC/VT Project RoadSafe

   Project RoadSafe will have a new director beginning October 1.

   AGC/VT Executive Vice President Cathleen Lamberton has announced the appointment of Aimee Ziter of Barre as the new RoadSafe Director, succeeding the retiring
Norman James.

   Aimee is currently Safety Director and Project Assistant at Ziter Masonery in Barre. She has been responsible for conducting company safety toolbox talks, verifying
employees’ compliance with safety trainings, being current with OSHA regulations, and the production of a workplace safety manual for the company.  

   Aimee is very familiar with National Safety Council’s DDC-4 driver safety courses. She is also OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 certified. 

   She will begin a transition to her new position on August 21.



Nine Highway Deaths in Vermont in One Week??!!

  Unfortunately, yes. In one week nine people were killed on Vermont’s highways, including four visitors from out of state on Route 22A in Bridport.

  According to data from the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance, seven of the people killed were not wearing a seatbelt, including the four victims in the two-car
crash in Bridport (the ninth fatality was a worker who was pinned between his truck and an on-coming car).

  While a seatbelt will not prevent a crash, it most certainly will prevent serious injury and in some circumstances, death. In fact, data show that seatbelts
can reduce instances of highway traffic deaths by up to 50%!!!

  According to that data, at least three of the seven people killed while not wearing a seatbelt could still be alive if that had worn that life-saving device. 

  Some officials are surprised that Vermont’s highway death toll is not higher considering the number of observations of drivers distracted by cell phones, passengers,
and drowsy driving. 

Beyond the use of seatbelts, which can save some lives in a crash, the question must be asked:

“If you are a safe driver, do you drive safely?”

  A vast majority of motor vehicle operators believe they are safe drivers. However, it is evident that some “safe drivers” do not drive safely.

  That is the point! More than 90% of all crashes are caused by human error — that is not driving safely..

  What to do? There is always law enforcement. But our local, county, and state officers are spread rather thin in their responsibilities of keeping citizens safe.

  So, who or what next? You and me and virtually every other driver on our highways. Personal responsibility must be looked at as real accountability. 

  We must understand that we can be our own best friend or our worst enemy when it comes to safety on the highway.

  Many businesses in Vermont have very strict policies that govern employee behavior on the road including mandatory use of seatbelts and prohibition of cell phone

  Perhaps we as individuals, or us as families should emulate our employers and establish and re-enforce similar policies.

It just might help drivers to drive safely.



Drugs and Alcohol Have No Place

In Your Work Area



Highway Deaths Soaring to New Heights

   For the first time in nearly a decade, preliminary data from the National Safety Council estimates that as many as 40,000 people died
in motor vehicle crashes in 2016. That is a 6% increase over 2015 and a 14% increase over 2014 — the largest jump in 53 years.

   In 2016, an estimated 4.6 million roadway users were injured seriously enough to require medical attention. That is a 7% increase over
2015. This means 2016 may have been the deadliest year on the roads since 2007. Estimated cost to society was $432 billion.

   A NSC survey released Feb. 15 provides a glimpse at the risky things drivers are doing. Although 83% of drivers surveyed believe driving is a safety concern, a
startling number say they are comfortable speeding (64%), texting either manually or through voice controls (47%), driving while impaired by marijuana (13%) or driving after they feel they’ve had too much alcohol (10%).  

   Motor vehicle fatality estimates are subject to slight increases and decreases as data mature. NSC uses data from the National Center
for Health Statistics, an arm of the CDC, so deaths occurring within 100 days of the crash and on public and private roadways – such as parking lots and driveways – are included in the estimates.

   “Our complacency is killing us. Americans believe there is nothing we can do to stop crashes from happening, but that isn’t true,” said
NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman. “The U.S. lags the rest of the developed world in addressing highway fatalities. We know what needs to be done; we just haven’t done it.” 


Employees of Green Mountain Power in Rutland participate 

in a recent driver safety training conducted by AGC/VT Project 

RoadSafe Director, Norman James.



Police Reports Don’t Capture the Real Reasons Drivers Crash

   The National Safety Council believes that Incomplete data is hurting efforts to save lives. The NSC examined police
reports from 50 states and Washington, D.C., to determine what data states are tracking with regard to motor vehicle crashes. They found that no state fully captures the data required by government and traffic safety organizations to understand the real causes
of crashes and effectively address the problems.

   According to the NSC report:

  • No state crash reports have fields or codes for police to record the level of driver fatigue at the time of a crash
  • 26 state reports lack fields to capture texting
  • 32 states lack fields to record hands-free cell phone use
  • 32 states lack fields to record specific types of drug use identified on positive drug tests, including marijuana

   States also fail to capture the use of advanced driver assistance technologies (50 states), teen driver restrictions
(35 states) and the use of infotainment systems (47 states).

   An estimated 40,000 people died in car crashes in 2016. That marks a 6% increase over 2015 and a 14% increase over
2014 – the most dramatic two-year escalation since 1964. Without a clear understanding of the scope of the problem, regulations, laws and policies to combat certain issues, like distracted driving, become more difficult to justify.

   NSC identified 23 crash factors that should be captured on police reports. While no state is capturing all 23, Kansas
and Wisconsin lead the nation by including 14 of the factors identified as critical by NSC. Maryland, Kentucky and Nebraska each are capturing just five factors.

   Six states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, New York and Virginia – do not provide fields or codes for police
to capture alcohol impairment at low levels (below the legal limit of .08) even though fatal crashes involving drivers with low BAC are not uncommon. Of the eight states that have decriminalized recreational marijuana use, only Alaska, California, Oregon and
Washington include fields and codes to record positive marijuana results from drug tests.

   NSC is calling for law enforcement and the traffic safety community to take several actions to ensure better data collection,

  • Moving toward the use of electronic data collection
  • Capturing emerging technology issues
  • Adopting an investigatory approach to car crashes
  • Collecting advanced driver assistance technology information and other details through electronic data recorders



Attitude Drives Behavior



Seat Belt Safety Facts

1)  60% to 75% of all injuries in a motor vehicle crash may be prevented by
using a seat belt.

2)  40% to 50% of traffic fatalities could have been prevented by wearing
seat belts.

3)  People are four times more likely to die when ejected from a vehicle.

4)  An unbelted passenger weighing 180 pounds being hurtled at 30 mph will
hit with the force of two tons.

5)  Increasing safety belt use is still the single most effective action we
can take to save lives and reduce injuries on our highways.

6)  Medical treatment costs average 50% more for injuries sustained by unbelted

7)  Children of all ages model adult behavior.  If adults do not buckle up
consistently, children will not either.

8) Research findings indicate that seat belt use among those driving for work
may be lower than among other vehicle operators.

9) Seat belt use is an inexpensive and effective way for employers to reduce
occupational deaths and injuries.

10) NHTSA estimates that using seat belts reduces the risk of death among
front seat occupants in passenger vehicles about 45%; the risk reductions among occupants of pickup trucks are estimated to be 60% to 65%.

11) About 62% of the drivers and passengers who were fatally injured were
not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

12) Seat belts will not prevent a Crash.  However, the use of seat belts will
reduce the emotional and physical costs, as well as financial and corporate costs of doing business.







Associated General Contractors of Vermont | (802) 223-2374 | |

PO Box 750, 1 Graves Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of fatal occupational injuries. RoadSafe, produced by The Associated Contractors of Vermont, is an electronic newsletter concerning
workplace driver safety. The purpose of RoadSafe is to distribute data, facts, and other materials to help employers create, maintain, and/or improve their workplace driver safety policies and programs.

Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Associated General Contractors of Vermont,
PO Box 750, 1 Graves Street
, Montpelier, VT 05602


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