National Safety Council
World Leader in Safety Services
Roger Marks
President, International Safety Council
Division/National Safety Council
Our Mission
The National Safety Council mission is to save lives by preventing injuries
and deaths at work, on the roads or wherever emergencies may occur.
The National Safety Council is the only global organization with a focus on
preventing injuries and saving lives in all three of these areas of safety.
Our Actions: leadership, research, education and advocacy
NSC Defensive Driving History
Fifty years ago, the National Safety Council was the first organization in
the world to develop defensive driving programs.
Today, we train 1.7 million drivers annually through more than 30
different DDC courses. We have trained over 66 million drivers around
the globe since 1964.
We have authorized more than 2,200 NSC DDC training centers in over
35 different countries and 50 U.S. states.
More than 8,800 certified instructors train drivers each year.
NSC defensive driving programs were developed on the basis that most
vehicle collisions are preventable.
We offer more than 30 different programs customized for different types
of drivers including:
Traffic Violators
Mature Drivers
Off Road (e.g. desert, mountains or snow)
Bus Drivers
- Young Drivers
- Corporate Fleets
- Problem Drivers
– Motorcyclists
- Hydrocarbon Vehicle Drivers
Worldwide Research & Statistics
NSC research and data show that more than 80% of motor vehicle
collisions (fatalities and injuries) are caused by human error.
The main perpetrator of motor vehicle injuries are motorcars, followed
by pedestrians and then heavy vehicles.
Worldwide, nearly 1.3 million people die in traffic crashes every year.
The World Health Organization forecasts that this number will double by 2020 unless
governments take action to improve safety.
In 2007 in the United States alone, the cost for motor vehicle injuries
exceeded $257 billion and these injuries result in wage and
productivity losses of over $200 billion annually.
Increasingly, businesses are realizing that attention to driver improvement positively
benefits the workforce as well as the corporate bottom line. Businesses must take
action to protect their investment in their employees — in the US, for example, 35% of
workforce fatalities are caused by motor vehicle crashes.
Fatal or near-fatal traffic crashes cost an estimated $518 billion
globally in material damage, health and other associated costs.
Every 6 seconds, someone is killed or injured on the world’s roads.
What is Defensive Driving?
Defensive driving is driving that follows certain rules, procedures
and guidelines in order to save lives, time and money in spite of
the conditions around you and the actions of others. A defensive
driver can drive safely regardless of the conditions in which he or
she is driving and regardless of the behavior of other road users.
NSC driving programs focus on having drivers think about their
attitudes and behaviors and the potential action of other drivers
which may lead them to be involved in collisions.
Developing defensive driving habits means:
Making safe and legal driving decisions.
Creating a safe, stress-free personal driving space in and around your
Driving to your destination safely—without a ticket or a crash, and without
affecting other drivers’ safety.
Practicing common sense, courtesy, and cooperation.
Recognizing the risks of hazardous driving behaviors and conditions
What is Defensive Driving?
In other words …..
A defensive driver does everything reasonable to avoid a collision or ticket. If that
means slowing down in bad weather, the defensive driver slows down. The facts
show that the majority of collisions are preventable. What’s even more
important is that violations are the cause of most collisions.
NSC defensive driving programs focus on getting drivers to think about their
attitudes and behaviors which may lead them to be involved in collisions.
Defensive driving requires drivers to link their actions to the potential
consequences and to think about the consequences to themselves, their family
and friends and relating to their work and finances.
Research shows that drivers who take defensive driver training programs have a
much lower accident rate
NSC defensive driving programs can be delivered in different formats that last 4 to
8 hours. It is a classroom-based program.
Ten Habits of Defensive Driving
Always wear your safety belt in any vehicles.
Evaluate driving conditions —
you (your physical, mental and emotional condition),
your vehicle,
conditions around you.
Avoid impaired driving (e.g., alcohol or drugs)
Recognize hazards using the “What If?” strategy.
For example, what if the car in front of you, which is moving at a slower speed than you,
appears to be weaving and you want to get into the next lane; could you likely have a
collision with that car). The What If strategy anticipates actions of others or road
conditions or other factors that could result in an accident and makes you think about
your potential driving actions and whether they could result in an accident.
Avoid distracted driving (texting, cell phone use, eating while driving, putting on
makeup while driving, etc.)
Ten Habits of Defensive Driving
Always maintain emotional control —Reflect, Reframe, Refocus
Reflect: Ask yourself, “Why am I getting angry? Is there really anything I can
safety do to change the situation?”
Reframe: Think about the situation. “What can I do that will help me maintain
Refocus: Think about something else, not the situation(s) causing you stress.
Avoid fatigued driving.
Maintain the proper following distance.
Always have a plan. Use the DDC Collision Prevention Formula:
Recognize the hazard.
Understand the defense or strategy you would take to avoid the hazard
Act correctly, in time to avoid the hazard
Consider other drivers —communicate, be courteous and have patience.
The Distracted Driving Problem
Motor vehicle crashes are the number 1 cause of death in the
United States for 1- to 34-year-olds. Crashes are among the top
three causes of death throughout a person’s lifetime. They also
are the number 1 cause of work-related death.
Each year since 1994, between 39,000 and 46,000 people in the
U.S. have been killed in motor vehicle crashes.
There are activities people tend to think are riskier than driving
such as flying in an airplane, but consider this: The lives lost on
U.S. roadways each year are equivalent to the lives that would be
lost from a 100-passenger jet crashing every day of the year.
In addition to thousands of fatalities, many more people suffer
serious life-changing injuries in motor vehicle crashes. More than
2.2 million injuries in the U.S. resulted from vehicle crashes in
The Distracted Driving Problem
Driver distractions have joined alcohol and speeding as leading
factors in fatal and serious injury crashes.
The National Safety Council estimates 25 percent of all crashes in
2008 involved talking on cell phones – accounting for 1.4 million
crashes and 645,000 injuries in the U.S. that year.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that
at any point during a day, 11% of drivers are talking on cell
Although texting is clearly a serious distraction, NSC data shows
drivers talking on cell phones are involved in more crashes. More
people are talking on cell phones while driving more often, and for
greater lengths of time, than they are texting. Thus, in 2008, an
estimated 200,000 crashes involved texting or emailing, versus
1.4 million crashes involving talking on cell phones.
What is the Risk?
Cell phone drivers have slower reaction times and are
more likely to get in a crash than drunk drivers (at the
.08 blood alcohol content level)
More than 100,000,000 drivers in the U.S. engage in
the concurrent use of a cell phone while operating a
motor vehicle
Currently, there are 270 million cell phone subscribers
in the U.S.
Today, 4 billion people use cell phones around the
80% admit to phone use while driving
What is the Risk?
Cell phone users are 4x more likely to be in a
The principal distraction is cognitive:
conversations cause “inattention blindness” –
looking but not seeing.
One study reports people engaged in phone
conversations see up to ½ less than other
Attention is withdrawn from the processing of information in the
driving environment necessary for safe operation of the vehicle.
Hand-Held vs. Hands-Free
“Inattention blindness” is the principal issue. It’s not
where your hands are, it’s where your head is.
Multiple studies report no difference in cognitive
distraction of a conversation between hands-free
and hand-held phones.
Dialing slightly increases crash risk, but
conversations endure much longer, leading to
greater crash involvement.
Cell Phone vs. Passenger Conversations
Passengers share awareness of the driving
situation, which is a safety benefit.
A front seat passenger reduces the risk of a crash
to 38% of that of a cell phone conversation.
Adults with passengers have lower crash rates
than adults without passengers.
Cell Phones vs. Other Distractions
Cell Phone conversations are MUCH higher risk
distractions than listening to radio or music, eating,
drinking and talking to passengers.
Certain distractions have higher crash risks
(reading, turning around in the seat), but are
engaged in less frequently.
Implications for Employers
Injuries to employees; lost time on the job
Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 cause
of work-related fatalities
Average cost per crash in the U.S. (without
injury) is $16,500
Average cost per crash in the U.S. (with an
injury) is $74,000
Work-Related Road Accidents
The Biggest Safety Issue in the Workplace
Road vehicles are essential to virtually every organization. There are very
few businesses or public or voluntary sector organizations that can
function with them—for example, to transport people or to carry goods and
services to customers.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, in the
United Kingdom:
Car and van drivers who cover 25,000 miles a year as part of their job are
likely to be at almost the same risk of being killed at work as those working in
mining and quarrying;
Out of a total of around 3,500 road accident fatalities every year, it has been
estimated that between 800 and 1,000 occur in accidents which involve people
who are at work at the time;
This compares with about 350 other recorded fatal accidents per year
connected with work, making work-related road accidents the biggest single
safety issue for most UK businesses.
Benefits of Managing Work-Related Road Safety
Research has shown that benefits from managing workrelated road safety and reducing crashes include:
Fewer days lost due to injury
Reduced risk of work-related ill health
Reduced stress and improved morale
Less need for investigation and paperwork
Less lost time due to work rescheduling
Fewer vehicles off the road for repair
Reduced costs such as wear and tear and fuel, insurance premiums and
legal fees and claims from employees and third parties
Fewer missed orders and business opportunities so there is a reduced risk
of losing the goodwill of customers
Reduced probability of key employees being banned from driving if their
license is suspended
Promoting safe driving practices and a positive safety culture at work
will likely spill over into private driving, which should reduce the chances
of staff being injured in a crash outside of work.
Strategies for Employers
Ensure that Leadership reflects the safety values &
goals of the organization
Establish Motor Vehicle Policies that set expectations
Provide motor vehicle safety Training & Education that
improves skills
Monitor, evaluate, and counsel employee Performance
to improve behavior
Provide your employees with the knowledge and tools to
use both ON and OFF the job.
Defensive Driving Courses
Program Development & Modification
Designed by curriculum specialists
Researched and reviewed by top authorities in the field
Continually updated based on new research and
Tested by focus groups prior to delivery to
determine effectiveness
Curriculum and instructors updated with the
latest information to ensure consistent quality
Bi-monthly publications
Alternative delivery methods
Video-based self-study
Defensive Driving Course (DDC) - 8/6
DDC 8/6: The Original Defensive Driving Course
Comprehensive driver improvement program with a basic six hour
curriculum that can be expanded to eight hours.
Interactive course designed to give drivers practical knowledge and
techniques to avoid collisions and violations and to choose safe,
responsible, and lawful driving behaviors.
Sample topics include:
The physical forces of a collision
How drugs, alcohol, physical conditions & emotions affect your driving
Avoiding collisions by choosing safe, legal behaviors
Dealing with driver distractions and fatigue
The importance of occupant safety devices and how to use them
Defensive Driving Course - Professional Truck Driver
DDC Professional Truck Driver recognizes that even
experienced drivers face driving risks.
Sample topics include:
The most common causes of truck-related collisions and how to avoid them
The DDC Collision Prevention Formula
Setting safety standards and protecting motorists
The unique challenges of driving large vehicles
Managing lanes safely
Dealing with uncontrollable driving conditions and hazards
Code of Ethics
“Drive for 5” protecting motorists and truck drivers
Personal safety
Mirror adjustment stations
Following distance
Situation analysis of collisions and incidents
Dynamics of Fleet Safety
The Dynamics of Fleet Safety Course is designed for safety
supervisors and managers of all type of fleets - - trucks, buses
and motor coaches, cars, vans, motorcycles, fork lifts - - from
a wide range of industries. The course demonstrates best
practices in motor vehicle safety, collision prevention and
asset use. Whether you are a new fleet safety manager or a
seasoned veteran, the four-hour Dynamics of Fleet Safety
Program will help you run an effective and efficient fleet safety
Sample topics include:
Essential elements of a fleet safety program
Using the essential elements to begin a fleet safety program,
featuring real life case study
Management commitment, recognition and return on
Summary, action planning and direction
Alive at 25
Alive at 25 is a highly interactive program encourages young drivers
between the ages of 16 and 24 to take responsibility for their driving
Long-term Goal: To reduce the number of violations, injuries and
fatalities incurred by young drivers between the ages of 16 and 24.
Focus: To persuade young drivers to take responsibility for their
behaviors and to adopt safer driving habits.
The course is highly interactive and incorporates language more
appealing to a younger audience to enhance retention.
The course tries to change bravado ( a false sense of courage) into
confidence and explain why young drivers underestimate risks.
The course highlights the effects of inexperience, peer pressures and
distractions like cell phones and texting.
DDC Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving
DDC Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving
specifically targets problem drivers. This highly
effective program shows drivers the direct
connection between their attitude and their
driving behaviors. It helps them recognize that
their reckless driving and its consequences
result from their own choices, and guides them
towards accepting responsibility for their
DDC Impact
More states and courts have embraced our
DDC curriculum than any other driver
improvement or defensive driving program for
insurance premium discounts, ticket dismissal,
corporate training, and driver retraining. All
told, NSC has made a significant difference in
safety on our nation’s streets and highways.
DDC Effectiveness
This difference is evidenced by a variety of
evaluations and effectiveness that has been
completed on DDC programs from NSC which
prove the value of DDC.
College of Lake County, Illinois
Research shows that over a 10-year period after an
incident, drivers who do not participate in DDC 8/6 are:
Eight times more likely to be involved in a traffic collision
than drivers who took the training.
Ten times more likely to be arrested for a moving violation
than training participants.
Drivers under age 21 were twice as likely to be cited for a
moving violation and almost six times as likely to be
involved in one or more collisions and one or more moving
Methodology: The College of Lake County used the DDC 8/6 course for its Driver Safety
Program (DSP) for more than 10 years. In order to evaluate the program’s effectiveness, 3000
drivers involved in crashes or moving violations were randomly selected for a study.
NSC - South Carolina Chapter
In research involving the Alive at 25 program,
findings showed:
35% decrease in fatalities statewide involving young
adult drivers ages (16-24) in 2007 compared to 2006
in South Carolina.
98% of participants in South Carolina said they would
change their driving behaviors after taking the course.
As of December 2008, of the more than 10,000
young adults aged 15-24 who have taken the DDC
program, not one has been involved in a fatal
collision in South Carolina.
Methodology: The South Carolina Chapter of the National Safety Council began a DDC course,
Alive at 25, for young drivers in February 2007.
State of Massachusetts
Research evaluating the impact of the DDC
Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving program from
NSC shows:
Males ages 65 and younger had significantly fewer violations in
the six months after taking the course than in the six months
Reductions in “at fault” accidents and motor vehicle violations
over a 6 month period after taking the course ranged from a
56% decrease in major and minor traffic violations by males to
a 71% decrease in accidents or motor vehicle violations by
females (compared to “at fault” accident or motor vehicle
violations in a 6 month period before taking the course).
Male participants ages 65 and older exhibited the greatest
changes in “at fault” accidents or motor vehicle violations with
an 82% reduction in each.
Methodology: Since 1994, Massachusetts began using DDC Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving
for the retraining of repeat traffic offenders, and more than 350,000 drivers have now
completed the course. Periodic studies are conducted to measure and document the
effectiveness of the program.
State of Nebraska
Results from a study regarding the DDC 8/6 and DDC
4 programs concluded that:
One year after the driver’s initial citation, drivers participating in
DDC were almost two times less likely to have another
Three years after the driver’s initial citation, drivers
participating in DDC experienced “significant decreases in
recidivism” compared to drivers who did not participate.
Source: The University of Nebraska at Omaha completed a study to determine the
impact of the program on recidivism among nearly 2,000 drivers – half of whom
participated in the DDC program and half who did not. In Nebraska, NSC delivers
multiple DDC programs (DDC 8/6 and DDC 4) in several counties of the state
where drivers have been charged with motor vehicle violations in traffic court.
State of Colorado
Results from research in the State of Colorado
shows that:
Teen driving fatalities have decreased by approximately
50% over a 10 year period.
Since 2002, the fatality rate in Colorado for students
between 16 and 24 who went through the Alive at 25
course is only 1.25 per 20,000 drivers compared to the
U.S. national fatality rate of people in the same age
range where the fatality rate has been 12.74 per 20,000
Source: The State Patrol of Colorado has been using the Alive at 25 program for
more than 10 years.
Contact Information
National Safety Council
International Division
1121 Spring Lake Drive
Itasca, Illinois 60143 USA
Phone: +1(630)775-2051
National Safety Council
Thank You

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