In the Eastern Province, there has been a troubling rise in traffic accidents in the first five months of 2021, and this poses a stark reminder for all of us to remain vigilant about our own safe driving behaviors.
According to the latest statistics for the Eastern Province, there has been a 12% increase in traffic accidents in the Eastern Province in the first five months of 2021 compared with the same time period in 2020; an 8% increase in serious injuries; and a 28% increase in traffic fatalities.
As employees of Aramco, we know how critically important our work is for the success of our company. To keep its employees safe, Aramco has committed to the highest levels of safety in the workplace, a mindset that guides all key operations, corporate policies and procedures. This commitment to safety extends well beyond our company gates. Each of us is encouraged to bring this safety mindset with us on our journeys to our homes, and to everything we do at home as well.
As much as Aramco does to ensure employee safety in the workplace, we must all protect ourselves and our families from the greatest risks while driving. Considering the Eastern Province statistics, the top three causes of traffic accidents in 2021 were:
• 23% sudden turning
• 16% distracted driving
• 12% jaywalking, or pedestrians crossing in an undesignated zone
When it comes to distracted driving, which is responsible for 16% of all traffic accidents at the Eastern Province, each of us can dramatically improve the safety of our roads and highways by avoiding two specific behaviors: driving while fatigued, and using mobile phones while driving. Use of mobile phones, for instance, has become increasingly common, and the mere act of taking a phone call while driving can take our eyes off the road just when our full attention may be needed to prevent an accident. Driving while fatigued — a worldwide risk that is responsible for 25% of all traffic fatalities in Britain, for instance — can also have deadly consequences.
GI 6.030 “Traffic and Vehicle Safety” specifically states that when driving in company communities, it is prohibited to use any hand-held communication devices, including mobile phones.
We must all remember: Every life of every employee is precious. Our families, friends, and colleagues depend on each of us to drive safely. Safety is everyone’s responsibility.