Project RoadSafe E-Newsletter – December 2015



The Associated General Contractors of Vermont

PO Box 750, 1 Graves Street

Montpelier, VT 05601

Tel: (802) 223-2374

FAX: (802) 223-1809



 December 21, 2015

Vermont Highway


2015 Year-to-Date: 52

2014 At this time: 42

2013 At this time: 67

2012 At this time: 75

Source: Vermont AOT


Project RoadSafe is funded by a grant from  


Governor’s Highway Safety


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.





Talk with us about traffic safety: contact 

Norman James (


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

reasonable to avoid it.

Snow Time in Vermont attracts countless thousands of people to our world-class recreation destination locations.


Cold weather is no barrier to year-round fishing in Vermont.


AGC members are builders of roads, bridges and buildings. Some of their jobs  require workers to be outside in the stifling
heat of the summer and the frigid cold of the winter.




OD in the Workplace

  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 16,000 Americans died from prescription painkiller overdoses in 2013, a four times
increase in the last 15 years.

  Researchers found that 65% to 85% of injured workers in most states received narcotic painkillers.

  Opioids – a group of drugs that include oxycodone and morphine – are prescribed by doctors to relieve pain, but, according to the CDC, can affect safety, health
and productivity, as well as increase workers’ compensation costs.

  The highly addictive drugs also can result in side effects such as confusion, drowsiness and nausea.

Nearly half of the users participated in a potentially unsafe activity while using an opioid – 39% went to work, 35% drove a vehicle, and 14% operated heavy machinery.


The Member-Firms of the Associated General Contractors of Vermont would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone the happiest of holidays and a
very successful 2016!!!


 Drive Like You
Really Care!!



A typical drive on Vermont roads at this time of year calls for extra alertness and caution. Speed will only increase the chances of a life-changing incident.



Snow Storm Precautions

  Snowy winter weather calls everyone’s attention to safety on our roadways. Vermont Emergency Management developed the following checklist of safety measures that
should be followed in the event of significant snow storms.

 ** Check road and weather conditions before leaving; visit or call 511 for this information.

 **Avoid traveling unless necessary and always allow yourself extra time to get to your destination.

 **Make sure your vehicle is in good mechanical condition with snow tires and winter windshield wiper blades.

 ** Watch for and expect changing road conditions, black ice, blowing snow, high winds or whiteout conditions can appear when you least expect them to.

  The single most important rule is to drive at a speed that matches the prevailing visibility, traffic and road conditions. The posted speed limits are for dry,
clear conditions only.

  Be sure to leave yourself plenty of extra room, extend the following distance from other vehicles ahead

  If you get stuck in deep snow, do NOT let your engine idle if your exhaust pipe is buried. Idling with a buried exhaust pipe risks carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you must idle your vehicle pending assistance, clear snow from the exhaust pipe.



Attitude Drives Behavior


Myth vs. Reality

   Myth: Drivers can multitask

   Reality: Contrary to popular belief, the human brain cannot multitask!   Driving and talking on a cell phone (hands-free OR hand-held) are two “thinking” tasks
that involve many areas of the brain. 

   Instead of processing both (driving and talking), the brain rapidly switches between two cognitive activities. 

   The difference between driving and talking and walking and chewing gum is that driving and the driving and walking scenario they are both “thinking” tasks. Walking
and chewing gum involve a “thinking” (walking) and “non-thinking” (chewing) task.


Vermont’s highway maintenance is ever vigilant for stormy weather. When it does storm crews are out around the
clock to keep roads clear. The adage is: 


Hands Free Creates More Distraction

   Findings from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicate hands-free systems create additional distractions for drivers.

   Dr. David Strayer, professor of psychology at the University of Utah, co-authored the study on the effects of hands-free technologies on drivers. Employing methods
used to test the brain functions of pilots, the research shows a surprising level of driver distraction, even inside newer vehicles with built-in communications systems.

   “We’re looking at this kind of activity and finding that voice-based interactions aren’t free of costs. That it takes a considerable amount of attention,” Strayer

   “There’s this myth in our culture that we’re good at multi-tasking, but it’s not true.”

   According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a total of 257 drivers ages 21-70 participated in the study of 2015 model-year vehicles. An additional 65
drivers ages 21-68 tested three phone systems. 

   “When we try to multi-task, in pretty much any domain, what happens is something doesn’t go well,” Strayer said.

   “When it comes to driving, the driving suffers.”

   According to Strayer, “it takes up to 27 seconds to get attention back on the road as it would have been had you not been interacting with that technology.”



Reasonable Suspicion

   One of the most important issues to confront the business community in recent years is the issue of drugs in the workplace. This issue is fast becoming a serious
impediment to a safe workplace regardless of the type of place where work is being done.

   Whether in office, in the plant, on a job site, or the myriad of workplaces that use motor transport to deliver products and services, Reasonable Suspicion can
be very confusing for the owner, manager, or supervisor of a business.

   AGC/VT is collaborating with the Vermont Truck & Bus Association to repeat a highly successful Reasonable Suspicion clinic that was held at the AGC offices in

   The clinic is tentatively scheduled for February 10 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon at the AGC/VT Training Center in Montpelier.

   Confirmation of dates and times will be made shortly.



 A Free Driver Safety Class

   * Does your company have a motor vehicle fleet (two or more vehicles) with above average insurance premiums?

   * Do you feel your fleet has more than its share of motor vehicle crashes?

   * Does your company have a safe driver program?

If these questions cause concern, contact Norman James at AGC/VT (
to talk about a free two-hour driver safety class for your drivers.



Electronic Logging Devices

   A federal rule to require truck operators to use electronic logging devices to keep records of duty status has been cleared to be published in the Federal Register.

   The new rule will take effect two years after its publication, giving carriers and owner-operators a two-year window to comply with the rule’s requirements.

   The rule calls for all drivers currently required to keep paper records of duty status to fall under the rule’s ELD requirement to keep an electronic log.

   In addition to requiring the installation and use of the devices, the rule will also spell out the minimum hardware and software requirements for the devices.

  The rule also outlines several provisions to try to prevent the devices from being used to harass drivers, such as carriers messaging drivers during off-duty
time and limits on location tracking. 



Attitude Drives Behavior


“Over  the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go. . . . . . . ” A vision of quiet, calm, and serenity away from the madding world. Would that we all could venture there. 


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 |

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