Combating Impairment in the Mobile Workplace

crash-4The latest report from Colorado concerning legal marijuana use and its impact is a bit disconcerting.
   For instance, Marijuana-related traffic deaths increased 48% since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, and at the same time, all traffic deaths increased 11%.
   In 2009, marijuana-related traffic deaths in Colorado involving operators who tested positive for marijuana represented 10% of all traffic fatalities. By 2015 that number doubled to 21%.
   In Vermont, the numbers are even more startling. According to data from the Vermont Agency of Transportation, as of September 26, 85.7% of the 28 motor vehicle operators killed on Vermont highways were impaired by alcohol and/or drugs!
   Keep in mind that the only legal use of marijuana in Vermont is for medicinal purposes and available only with a physician’s prescription. Vermont has NOT legalized recreational use of marijuana.
  At the same time, 50% of the 45 fatalities we have incurred so far this year were not belted, or the victim was improperly restrained.
  It can also be reasonably construed that the 19, or nearly 68% of the motor vehicle operators who were speeding at the time of their fatal crash were in some state of impairment.
  The issue here is not only the number of people who have died on Vermont highways for whatever reason, it is also very important to know that impairment, whether alcohol or drugs, also endangers all other highway users.
   Five years ago AGC/VT included the Project RoadSafe program as an integral part of its overall workplace safety curriculum. RoadSafe provides businesses with information about corporate safety policies as well as classroom driver/operator safety refresher courses.
   Norman James, Manager of the RoadSafe program, has been certified by the National Safety Council, AAA of Northern New England, and AARP to teach their respective driver-safety courses. RoadSafe also has other driver safety programs available for any company who have employees on the road, driving for work.
   I encourage businesses who have drivers on the road to incorporate driver-safety policies and education in their overall business workplace safety plan.
   We can help. Call us at 802-223-2374, or email: njames@agcvt.org, or visit our website:www.agcvt.org.