On The Road

Safety on the Road

In 2017, more than 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes; the three biggest causes of fatalities on the road are alcohol, speeding and distracted driving. Addressing what causes crashes, as well as the role vehicles, drivers, road systems and technology play in creating safer roads is how we will  eliminate preventable deaths on the road.

Together We Can End Impaired Driving

Impaired driving is driving while drunk, drugged, drowsy and/or distracted. All of these are dangerous. All of these are preventable.

In addition to the National Safety Council, these traffic safety and health advocacy organizations are working to end impaired driving:

  • Consumer Healthcare Products Association
  • Governors Highway Safety Association
  • National Sleep Foundation
  • Recording Artists, Actors and Athletes Against Drunk Driving
  • Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility
  • Students Against Destructive Decisions

Employers Play a Big Role in Keeping Our Roads Safe

Millions drive as part of their jobs. Some are professionally trained drivers, many are not. If a job does not primarily involve driving, the employee often does not receive the same safety management or engagement in driving safety others may get.

Employers need to manage the safety of employees on the road, just as they manage other risks in the workplace. The NSC Journey to Safety Excellence incorporates leadership and employee engagement, risk management, safety management systems and measurement to keep employees safe.

Off-the-job crashes account for 80% of employer crash-related health benefit costs, and half of crash-related injuries cause employees to miss work. According to Injury Facts, the average economic cost of a crash is more than $1 million per death and more than $78,000 per nonfatal disabling injury. Employers pay significant costs associated with off-the-job crashes, including decreases in employee health, well-being and productivity, and increases in lost time from work and insurance costs.

To prevent motor vehicle crashes involving their employees on and off the job, employers should:

  • Offer defensive driving courses and other training specific to the risks faced
  • Offer programs for employees with alcohol or prescription or illegal drug problems
  • Enact a corporate cell phone policy to prevent all cell phone use behind the wheel
  • Enact a policy that requires employees to wear seat belts
  • Ask NSC experts to assess your organization's road safety systems, and help design and execute a program

Multi-tasking is a Myth

With advancements in cell phone technology, distracted driving has been an increasing and misunderstood trend. In fact, findings from a recent NSC public opinion poll indicate 80% of drivers across America incorrectly believe that hands-free devices are safer than using a handheld phone.

Learn why distracted driving, regardless if it's hands-free or handheld, is a dangerous threat to roadway safety.

Multitasking Lie

Educating Teen Drivers

For teens just learning to drive, car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death - mostly due to inexperience. Graduated Driver Licensing systems are proven to reduce crashes involving teen drivers by as much as 40%, minimizing common risks such as passenger distraction, nighttime driving and cell phone use.

Find more resources to help keep teen drivers safe.


Impairment Begins with the First Drink

Alcohol is involved in one-third of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. That's about 10,000 lives lost every year.

Learn More
  • Driver-assist Technology

    ​NSC and the NTSB convened researchers, government officials, media, associations and industry leaders for a discussion on Reaching Zero Crashes.

    Watch the Webcast
  • Hot Cars Kill Kids

    Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, about three kids die each week in hot cars.

    What You Can Do
  • Changing the Game for Vehicle Safety

    Driving Technology: My Car Does What?

    ​Lane departure warning? Automatic parking? MyCarDoesWhat.org educates drivers on safety technologies built in to new cars.

    Learn More