Traffic accidents in the US are more common than ever, and death rates are climbing as well. A large proportion of crashes are work-related, either happening when employees are driving on duty or commuting to or from the workplace. A severe crash can leave the occupants seriously injured and the vehicle damaged to a significant extent. Things can get worst if pedestrians or other vehicles are involved, and people get injured in the mishap. Your business may end up with a liability when the employee is driving a company vehicle. It can happen even if the accident occurs due to the negligence of the employee.
You will probably have to pay the injured employee and compensate the third-party victims as well. There could be massive financial losses due to lawsuits and settlement payments to injured victims. To make things worse, the reputation of the business may take a blow, and you may lose on the customers. Considering these facts, it surely makes sense to go the extra mile with driving safety measures if you let your employees operate business vehicles as a part of the operations. Here are the ones you should implement to keep your people, vehicles and business safe at all times.
Write a policy that spells out safe driving rules
A vehicle safety policy is perhaps the most vital aspect of ensuring protection against the implications of mishaps involving commercial vehicles. Document a policy that defines the traffic safety protocols for your company and employees. As a rule, implement a zero-tolerance approach to negligence because you would not want the business to get into a fix due to the mistakes of the employees.
Having a policy is only half the work done because you need to communicate it with all employees who operate the vehicles. Deliver it personally to the workforce and post it everywhere it matters. Hold regular meetings to ensure that everyone understands the elements of the policy. You can go the extra mile by including incentives and disciplinary actions for violation of the rules. Both can go a long way to minimize accident rates.
Check employee driving records
It is vital to go through the driving record of each person you plan to authorize to drive your company vehicles for work purposes. Follow it as a norm, whether the employee will handle a large trailer or only drive a two-wheeler. Their records will give you a clear idea about the previous driving-related offenses and violations so that you can steer clear of people who are likely to cause accidents with company-owned vehicles.
Reviewing an employee’s driving record is easy as you only have to obtain a motor vehicle report from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. The employee can authorize you to access these records by signing a release that lets you get the requisite information from the DMV of the state of their license. Let the employees understand that you will require them to do it prior to their employment with your company.
Implement a driver safety training program
Apart from being vigilant about the driving credentials of the employees right from the start, you should also have safety training programs in place. You can seek guidance from car accident lawyers devoted to your best interests because they have good experience with commercial accident cases and understand the key loopholes that need to be covered by businesses. A training program helps you create and reinforce a culture of driving safety.
Hold regular workshops to train employees and ensure they understand the norms you expect them to follow. Keep track of their current driving records, even with their personal vehicles. If an employee gets into a crash, find the reason, and work on specialized training to ensure that the problem is resolved for good.
Avoid calling or texting them when they are on the road
While you can train and educate people to follow safe practices on the road, you also need to do your bit for enabling employees to drive safely. As a rule, steer clear of calling or texting your employees when you know that they are on the road, no matter how important it may be to get in touch.
Calls and texts are the key causes of distracted driving, which can lead to serious mishaps. These incidents are completely avoidable if a driver avoids distractions and focuses only on the road. Also, enforce a rule that curbs the usage of mobile devices while driving.
Pay attention to the vehicle in terms of safety by design
The commitment to safety starts right when you create a vehicle fleet for your company. Before you select vehicles for your business, do research crash rates and safety features that different options offer. Compare and prioritize ones with features like airbags and brake assist because they can minimize the mishaps once a part of your fleet.
Cars with driver safety monitoring systems are a plus for any business because they let you assess and track employee behavior at all times. It may mean some additional investment at present, but you can end up saving a lot in the long run.
Don’t cringe at vehicle maintenance
While it is vital to choose the fleet vehicles carefully, you cannot afford to go slack with their maintenance. First thing first, a proper preventive vehicle maintenance schedule offers safety from accidents to a significant extent. At the same time, also invest in predictive repair and maintenance so that you can stay one step ahead of the repair requirements.
Investing in a predictive analytics solution is a smart move for businesses that want to modernize fleet management with reliable security. The application offers insights on vehicle breakdowns and issues so that you address them before they cause a mishap. Also, encourage drivers to report the smallest of problems at the earliest.
Apart from implementing these safety measures for your employees and company fleet, you can stay safe with adequate insurance cover. The right type of auto insurance policy keeps you stress-free and offers financial protection even in case of major accidents and high-value settlements. Make sure that you have your company covered on all fronts.