Although we missed seeing you in person, we had a great time getting to know some of you over videoconference at this year's Newly Elected Officials Seminar. If you missed it, or would like to see it again, please first download the packet below and then click play on the video.
In 2018 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that distracted driving accounted for 2,841 driving-related fatalities. Defined as any activity that takes a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving, distracted driving is an ever-increasing problem as more and more technology creeps into our vehicles, dividing our focus. Texting, cell phone use, eating, changing the station on the radio, or even carrying on a conversation all count as distracted driving. There are three types of distractions while driving:
Many common activities people engage in while driving can be distracting. One of the biggest and most risky is cell phone use, which causes visual, manual, and cognitive distractions. According to insurance claim data, 19% of auto accidents in 2019 were caused by phone-based distractions.
People tend to think that they are good at multitasking, especially while driving; however, study after study has found that the brain cannot give full attention to more than one task at a time. Driving is a complex task that requires the full focus and attention of every driver on the road. Distracted driving can cause life-changing injuries, and it can be fatal.
The best way to avoid distracted driving is to limit distractions before putting the vehicle in drive. Plan your route before starting the trip, as even GPS navigation systems can be a distraction. Set the radio, climate controls, etc., before driving. Do not eat while driving. If you are taking a long trip, plan to stop for food and rest breaks. Put cell phones out of sight and out of reach. Set your cell phone to send an automatic text informing anyone who texts that you are driving and will contact them later, or better yet, turn off your cell phone while in the car. According to one study, using a cell phone while driving reduces your focus on driving by 37%.
Counties can help prevent distracted driving by establishing clear procedures for what is and is not acceptable behavior in county vehicles, such as banning employees from cellphone use while driving. Make safe driving a priority with training plans that encourage employees to pull over if they need to make a phone call, check a map, send a text, or engage in other potentially distracting activities.
Auto accidents pose an enormous risk to the county pools and endanger county employees. Implement clear policies that discourage distracted driving in county vehicles. In addition, provide training to county employees about the risks of distracted driving. CTSI offers several safety videos on distracted driving, including “Hang up and Drive” and a Defensive Driving Refresher webinar. Members will need to login to view the videos. For more information about the dangers of distracted driving or for information on implementing a fleet safety program, contact CTSI Loss Control at (303) 861 0507.
A PDF of this Technical Update is available here.
CTSI prides itself on its dedication and service as it helps Colorado counties navigate the insurance market and benefit from shared resources with the power of pooling. As part of that effort, CTSI welcomed three new staff members in June. These three new faces will help CTSI continue to maintain excellent, personalized service for its members.
Rhonda Curran joined CTSI as a Risk Analyst. Rhonda spent 29 years at Willis Towers Waston doing actuarial and risk management. In 2016, Rhonda switched to development and fundraising for nonprofit organizations, most recently at Recovery Café Longmont. In addition to her 30 years of experience in the insurance actuarial and risk management field, Rhonda also holds a BA in economics with a concentration in statistics from the University of Connecticut as well as professional credentials as a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Risk Management (ARM), and Associate in Reinsurance (ARe). Rhonda is a native of Connecticut and has called Colorado home for 28 years. She is looking forward to working on a variety of projects for CTSI.
Kim Morgan is replacing Lisa Stoner, who recently moved to our Worker’s Compensation department, as the CTSI Receptionist/Administrative Assistant. Kim is a native of Colorado and has over 25 years of experience in office administration. In her role, Kim will be the voice on the phone for many CTSI members as she greets callers and directs them to the proper department. Kim is looking forward to helping CTSI continue to grow and to getting to know the CTSI membership.
Dylan Patterson, another Colorado native, joined CTSI from Chipotle, where he handled general liability claims for their more than 2,800 stores. Dylan has over 20 years of experience as a claims adjuster and is looking forward to handling new types of claims and getting to know the CTSI staff and membership.
CTSI is happy to welcome our three new staff members and congratulate Lisa Stoner on her new position with the organization. CTSI is proud of our continued growth as we adapt to meet the needs of our member counties. For more information on CTSI contact at (303) 861 0507.
James Buchanan Adams III, CTSI Property & Liability Senior Claims Examiner, passed away on April 25, 2020. James was a valued member of the CTSI team for over 13 years. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, James grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He moved to Littleton, Colorado, with his family in 1989 and enjoyed the many outdoor activities Colorado has to offer. His co-workers at CTSI remember him for his kindness, his sense of humor, and the knowledge and professionalism he brought to his work. Colorado’s counties, as well as CTSI staff, greatly benefitted from James’s long experience in insurance litigation, both from his skill managing cases and from his readiness to share what he learned with his team members. James enjoyed working with CTSI’s county members and was a wonderful presence in the CAPP Department. He will be greatly missed.