Background: The ways workers interface with their workplace and work are changing. These changes provide challenges and opportunities for health and safety professionals attempting to improve worker wellbeing for the future of work. For many workers, the morning commute, an activity typically outside the scope of workplace policies, is the most hazardous portion of the day. The hazard increases if workers are required to drive during winter weather or in other hazardous conditions in order to adhere to strict workplace start times. This research describes the role winter weather plays during the morning commute, demonstrating the need for organizational design and work arrangements that improve safety during the commute to work. Methods: Crash data from the Iowa Department of Transportation for the years 2013–2017 was linked to county level characteristics from the American Community Survey. Crashes were characterized by 30-min time intervals. The likelihood of the crash involving winter weather as a contributing circumstance was compared across time-intervals. Results: Winter weather was more likely to contribute to crashes during the commuting hours compared to 11:00 to 11:59 am. Winter weather was most frequently a contributing circumstance during 8:00–8:29 a.m. (OR = 2.21 95% CI: 1.93–2.52). Conclusions: Winter weather plays a role in crashes during commuting hours. Workplaces can adopt policies for flexible work start times or for telecommuting to empower workers to avoid hazardous driving conditions.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited